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Home prices in England and Wales increased by 6.7% year on year in January and were up 1.3% month on month, according to the latest land registry figures. This takes the average property value in England and Wales to £179,492 compared with the peak of £181,101 in November 2007. A breakdown of the figures shows that London experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months with a rise of 12% while the North West experienced the greatest monthly rise of 2.6%. The North East saw the lowest annual price growth with a rise of just 0.1% and Yorkshire and the Humber saw the largest monthly price fall of 1.5%. The data also shows that the most up to date figures available reveal that the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 19% to 68,107 compared with 83,726 in November 2013. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million decreased by 18% to 869 from 1,060 a year earlier and repossession volumes in England and Wales decreased by 47% to 687 compared with 1,286 in November 2013. London was the region with the greatest fall in repossession sales. Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, explained the figures confirm that house price growth regrouped in January after an underwhelming end to 2014. ‘All the fundamentals are in place to help the market get back into its stride, and stamp duty savings and competitive mortgages rates are already enticing buyers and sellers to the market and upping demand,’ he said. ‘This is good news for the wider housing recovery, which at the moment is still largely restricted to the South East as many other regions have a long way to go before they are within sights of the towering annual growth witnessed in the capital. In these places, access to Help to Buy and more affordable properties are the key stimulants invigorating demand at the entry level,’ he pointed out. He also pointed out that on a monthly basis, the London market is back to more reasonable conditions after the whirlwind of last year, allowing buyers some valuable let up from cut throat market conditions. ‘A greater supply of properties on the market is music to the ears of London home buyers, and this optimism is feeding into a healthy demand. A feel good factor at the culmination of the general election should get the top tiers of the property market moving again as the uncertainty clears, and this is likely to mitigate any shortfall in the meantime,’ he added. According to Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson Stops & Staff, the statistics reflect market sentiment from two to three months ago, when the London market was cooling but the country market relatively stable. ‘It is not surprising therefore that, while London showed an annual increase of 12%, January’s figures showed a small decrease and this… Continue reading →
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