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Average house prices in England and Wales grew by 7% in 2014 with London seeing a rise of 16.3%, the latest land registry figures show. They increased 0.6% in December compared with the previous month, taking the average price to £177,766, not far from the peak of £181,138 in November 2007. London also experienced the greatest monthly rise with an average increase of 1.8%, taking the average price in the city to £464,936. The North West saw the lowest annual price growth of 1.5% and also saw the most significant monthly price fall of 1.6%. The most up to date figures available show that during October 2014 the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by 4% to 80,158 compared with 77,371 in October 2013. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in October 2014 increased by 15% to 1,132 from 984 in October 2013. The land registry data also shows that repossession volumes decreased by 37% in October 2014 to 796 compared with 1,260 in October 2013. The region with the greatest fall in repossession sales in October 2014 was the South East. According to Graham Davidson, managing director of Sequre Property Investment, the 0.6% increase in December compared to the previous month, was a surprise and is a trend which his firm does not expect to continue. ‘This increase is possibly due to a hive of buyer activity during September and October, and has resulted in the purchase prices being pushed up. In addition to the house price increase, an annual rise of 16.3% in London illustrates that the capital still remains a difficult market for property investors,’ he explained. He believes that London and the South East remain relatively unaffordable to all but the wealthiest buyers. ‘This is causing more to look to areas such as the North of England, where property remains affordable. The North West has taken a dip of 1.6% in December, which signifies the North’s affordability and higher yielding opportunities for investors,’ said Davidson. ‘Repossessions have also continued to fall, demonstrating how improving employment rates and a slow in the rate of inflation is creating a more sustainable and stable environment for home owners,’ he added. Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, said that the figures demonstrate that house price growth has ploughed forward solidly to the very end of 2014. 'The real variation is in how growth is spread so unevenly across the country, and in many regions property prices are stuck in a rut or even sliding backwards,' he commented. 'But December is the close of one chapter, and shouldn’t be viewed as a prologue to the coming year. Aspiring buyers are equipped with all the tools they need to climb onto the housing ladder and secure great deals on homes. Demand at the bottom of the market continues to… Continue reading →
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