House price growth in UK cities maintained its upward trend in January 2019, according to the latest UK Cities House Price Index from Hometrack.

The 20-city index is registering house price inflation of 2.9 per cent with Leicester showing the highest growth of 6 per cent. “Comparison of time to sell and discounts to asking price indicates the strength of city housing markets, with 12 cities having relatively strong market fundamentals,” Hometrack said.

Other cities, which registered +5 per cent growth are Belfast – 5.8 per cent; Manchester – 5.4 per cent; Glasgow and Birmingham – 5.1 per cent; and Liverpool – 5 per cent. Nottingham (4.6 per cent), Sheffield (4 per cent) and Cardiff (3.7 per cent) also registered consistent growth in house prices in January this year.

House price in London remained stable at £479,000 with the year-on-year growth remaining flat. Still, the London house price is more than double that of Leicester (£177,600), which registered the highest inflation last month. This demonstrates the importance of the London housing market for the UK. Demand continues to strengthen in the London housing market, which is impacted by ‘no-Brexit’ deal for now with property investors adopting ‘wait and watch’ policy.

The latest data for housing sales shows transaction volumes holding up in line with the 5 years average with first-time buyers the largest buyer group in 2018. Demand for housing is holding up better than many had expected in 2019, Hometrack report said.