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Monthly home sales in England and Wales increased by 13% in July with growth driven by transactions in the North, the latest housing index shows. House prices increased by 0.3% compared to the previous month, taking the average price of a home to £279,515, according to the LSL house price index. On an annual basis the index shows an increase of 3.7%, rising to 4% if London and the South East data is excluded. The data also shows that house prices increased across six regions, led by East Anglia which saw an annual increase of 6.3%. While in Reading prices have risen by 15.2% in the last year which the firm believes is due to it being on the route of the new London Cross Rail project. And in 27% of local authority areas in England prices have reached new peak levels, including Warrington, the West Midlands, Milton Keynes, Bristol, and Devon. It means that England and Wales have experienced their strongest July for home sales since 2007 monthly sales surpassed 2014 levels for first time this year. According to Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, the housing market recovery is well established although London is no longer leading the growth. Indeed, London is eighth out of the 10 regions in England and Wales in terms of annual rises. London ranks only above the North and Wales with 1.8% price growth year on year in June 2015, which has halved from 3.6% in May. Sexton said that this downtrend in London is now lowering the average growth for England and Wales as a whole. ‘London has been stalled by more aggressive graduated Stamp Duty and taxation levied at the highest rungs of the property market, plus the rising value of Sterling compared to the Euro,’ he explained. The data shows that in the most expensive boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster sales during the second quarter of 2015 were down 33% and 31% respectively year on year. But there are signs of the market bouncing back with property values recording healthy monthly rises of 2.3% and 2.1% in Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. ‘Overall homes sales reached 90,000 in July, a boost of 13% from the previous month. This marks the first time this year that sales levels have overtaken the equivalent month in 2014 and is actually the strongest July since 2007, when the market was building up to its pre-crisis peak. Sales were 35% higher then, standing at 120,845 in July 2007,’ Sexton pointed out. The North and Yorkshire and Humberside have seen the fastest sales growth, with transactions in the second quarter of the year up 29% and 25% respectively on the previous quarter. It is purchases of detached properties which have seen the biggest quarterly boost and in the North sales of this type of home increased by 41%. However, first time buyer sales have slowed since the start of 2015, and sales of… Continue reading →
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