This week we were interested to see in the news that house prices in London fell in March, with the annualised rate of inflation dropping to minus 0.7%. According to the official Land Registry figures for March, this was the sharpest drop in almost ten years. Could this be the right time to pack up and move to Dorset?

In the rest of the UK the overall rate of house price inflation continued to rise in March by 4.2%. The highest rise overall was in Scotland where homes rose by an average of 6.7%. So the drop in London is at odds with the rest of the country and could herald the beginning of a worrying trend.

According to property experts in the capital, buyers are sensing trouble ahead – forcing some sellers to cut their prices steeply in order to complete a sale. Speaking to the Guardian, Jonathan Hopper of Garrington Property Finders said:

“London is paying a painfully high price for its stellar run of price rises and a correction is now under way in several parts of the capital.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) – which compiles the house price index – confirmed that prices in the capital have actually been declining since the EU referendum almost 2 years ago:

“This is the lowest annual growth in London since September 2009, when it was negative 3.2%. London has shown a general slowdown in its annual growth rate since mid-2016. The second-lowest annual growth was in the north-east, where prices increased by 2.1% in the year to March 2018.”

Separate figures from UK Finance suggest that the amount of transactions in the capital has fallen too – with less sales being completed over the past year. During the first quarter 2018, the number of first-time buyers dropped by 3% whilst the number of home movers fell by 4.3% – compared with the same period a year earlier.

Also speaking to the Guardian, Sam Mitchell of online estate agency said the picture outside London is very different. Could this be the right time to pack up and move to the country?

“For years we have talked about the north-south divide, with house prices in the north struggling to keep pace with booming price growth in the south. But that trend has been turned on its head.

“Compare London to Liverpool. While London house prices are in negative growth territory, in Liverpool, average prices are up 12.5% over the same period, making it one of the strongest property markets in the UK right now. Where affordability has been a major problem in the south of England, the north offers value, particularly for families looking for larger homes.”

So, if you’re looking for getting more for your money, then it might be time to start looking at property up North – but if like us, you’re smitten with Dorset then it looks like property prices here continue to represent good value – along with some superb places to raise a family or retire. Planning your more to Dorset? Give us a call for a free no-obligation quote and we will be happy to help you with every aspect of your move, from packing and moving to storage and shipping we can do it all.