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House price growth in England and Wales is at a two year low but the average price at £278,849 is a new high, according to the latest index figures. However, annual property price growth slowed to 4.1% in June, the smallest yearly rise since August 2013, says the LSL house price index. But whereas London has been leading house price growth, the reverse is now happening. London ranks only seventh in the regional breakdown with annual price growth down to 1.8%, well down from the 20.7% recorded in July 2014. Sales are also strong, up 15% in June and the firm says that buyers have come back with a vengeance after a lull in the run up to May’s general election. The data also shows that month on month property prices were up 0.3% and overall home values are on average £10,980 higher than a year ago. And overall excluding London and the South East annual price growth is 4.4%. Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, said that sales in June were above the seasonal uplift typically expected at this time of year. ‘This new buoyancy in activity levels bodes well for property market in the coming months. It’s clear the general election distorted the usual tide of the market, with many buyers waiting until afterwards to complete on their purchases,’ he explained. ‘In the first half of 2015, sales are 13% lower than the same period last year. But June’s sharp upward spike shows the start of this calibration back to firmer territory, as confidence in the political landscape solidified with a majority government,’ he added. He explained that it is a slowing of prices at the top end in London that is pulling down the overall average and the lower rungs of the ladder are still dynamic. In the cheapest London borough Barking and Dagenham house prices have risen 15% over the past year. Overall, the lowest priced boroughs across the capital have seen annual price jumps of 10.1% on average, compared to steadier 2.8% year on year rises in the most expensive London locations. ‘It is the pricier south of the country which has seen the most significant slowdown in sales with the volume of properties sold in London and the South East 15% lower than 2014 levels. But healthier activity levels in the North, Yorkshire and Wales should help to balance out some remaining regional disparities in price growth,’ said Gill. ‘It’s encouraging that we’re seeing livelier activity where prices need to get back onto their feet as there are still some pockets of Wales, the North and Yorkshire where house prices are lower than 12 months ago,’ he added. He also explained that with borrowing cheaper than ever, wages recovering, and government schemes and incentives to lean on, buyers’ purchasing power is stronger than it has been for a long while. ‘As a result of this positivity, higher… Continue reading →
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