House price changes still diverging, says Land Registry
House prices in England and Wales rose slightly in May but the
market was still defined by significant regional
variations. The average home increased in value by 0.5% in May
compared with April, and was 0.4% higher than a year earlier, the
Land Registry said.However, prices have risen sharply in the last
year in London but dropped in six of the English regions.The
average home was valued at £161,677, the report said.
The Land Registry figures are published later than a number of
house price surveys, but are widely considered to be the most
comprehensive for England and Wales.
'Wait and see'
The data shows that 54,000 residential property sales were lodged
in May, with prices ranging from £10,000 to £28m. "What
is consistent across the country is that the volume of transactions
is well below what we were seeing at the height of the market,"
said independent buying agent Gabby Adler. "Many vendors are
waiting to see what happens with the economy, while many would-be
buyers believe they will not be able to get mortgage finance so
there is no point in trying." The figures show that London
continues to surge ahead of the rest of England and Wales in terms
of house price rises. Prices increased by 7.7% in the year to the
end of May, taking the price of the typical home to £365,359.
Over the year, prices also rose in the South East of England, by
1.7%, and in the East of England, by 1.6%. All other areas
registered house price falls, with the largest in the North East of
England.A 3.5% drop in that region has taken the average price of a
typical home to £99,492.
Meanwhile, the latest figures show the number of completed house
sales in England and Wales increased by 25% in March 2012 compared
with a year earlier. This was driven by an increase in the number
of properties sold between £150,000 and £250,000, ahead
of the end of the stamp duty concession for first-time
However, high-end properties showed the reverse trend. The number
of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1m in March
decreased by 41% to 501, from 845 in March 2011.
Source: BBC News