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Prices are rising in more regions in the UK than might be expected for the time of year and price discounting is at a four year low, according to the latest asking price index. The current mix-adjusted average asking price for England and Wales shows that properties on the market are valued 7.8% higher than they were in January 2014, the data from Home.co.uk shows. The biggest price growth was in Greater London over the last month with a rise of 0.6%, despite falling prices in the prime central London market. Prices also rose in the North East during the last month by 0.4%, which the firm says is encouraging given that the recovery has not yet been evident in the most northerly English region. Asking prices increased in seven English regions and in Wales with prices up 0.1% overall in England and Wales during the last month. Only Scotland and East Anglia showed significant month on month falls of 0.6% and 0.8% respectively. The index report suggests that the positive momentum gained through the course of 2014 has clearly been carried through into 2015. Demand remains ahead of supply in most parts of the UK and looks set to stay that way as mortgage deals seemingly get better and better. The only dark clouds on the current property horizon would seem to be the price falls in prime central London and various potential housing policy changes that will be debated in the run-up to this year's election. Flat prices have fallen by an average of 9% over the last 12 months in central London. Over the same time, the number of flats for sale in central London has increased by 64%. ‘We consider that there is a significant risk that the same price correction will be perpetuated throughout Greater London and the South East over the course of 2015/2016,’ said Doug Shephard, home.co.uk director. ‘Possible changes in property taxes and rent capping also carry uncertainty and risk for the market in a year that will be coloured by political policy change,’ he added. The firm’s analysis of the situation in London shows that Belgravia was the first area to see prices fall. Prices peaked in November 2013 and since then, the typical price for a flat has fallen from £1,995,000 to £1,600,000, a drop of 20% and much more than the price of the average UK home. Shephard says this causes concern as history indicates that booms and busts always start in central London and then, quite slowly, emanate out to the rest of the country. He also pointed out that prices peaked for flats in Islington in March 2014. Since then, the typical asking price has dropped 11%, which represents a 10 month loss of £85,000. Over the same period, the typical time on market for flats in Islington has risen 220% from a frantic 35 days to a lethargic 112 days. Further out, Holloway flat prices peaked in May 2014… Continue reading →
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