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Average house prices in England and Wales fell 0.2% in September compared with the previous month, according to the latest index from the Land Registry. But property has experienced year on year growth of 7.2% with the average price now £177,299 compared with the peak of £181,324 in November 2007. The data also shows that there were over 93,350 residential properties in England and Wales lodged for registration in September. The region in England and Wales which experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with growth of 18.4% while the East experienced the greatest monthly rise at 1.4%. Yorkshire and the Humber saw the lowest annual price growth at 1.4% and the region also saw the most significant monthly price fall of 2.2%. The most up to date figures available show that during July 2014 the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by 7% to 79,214 compared with 73,749 in July 2013. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in July 2014 increased by 19% to 1,439 from 1,207 in July 2013. David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said the figures show the market has experienced ongoing steady growth. ‘Property prices slowed down slightly compared with the previous month, but the annual picture is still stable,’ he pointed out. ‘There are regional differences with some regions doing better than others. Property prices in London have been steadily marching forward and have experienced the strongest recovery in the UK, whereas areas like the North East and Yorkshire and Humber still have some catching up to do,’ he explained. He also pointed out that there were 11% more first time buyer completions than a year ago. ‘These robust figures are in part due to the Help to Buy scheme which has crucially assisted first-time buyers get on to the property ladder. The scheme has made higher LTV lending much more accessible and first-time buyer deposits have fallen by 8%,’ said Newnes. ‘However, more geographical targeting of the Help to Buy scheme would help rejuvenate struggling areas in the UK, particularly those outside London and the South East. And with many regions still in a delicate balance of recovery, the government should be mindful of heeding any calls to curtail the scheme,’ he added. Despite the increase in property values in the capital, market conditions in London are now more sustainable, according to Nick Leeming, chairman of national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff. ‘London is seeing a greater balance in supply and demand, which is more sustainable in the longer term. With the London effect and buoyant local markets, the Home Counties remain relatively active and do not yet reflect any reduction in market activity. However many Jackson-Stops & Staff offices report that the top end outside London is seeing continued resistance to high pricing levels and, in many areas, sales at above £1 million remain hard to secure,’… Continue reading →
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