UK Nigeria Online: Land Registry: House prices up 0.9% in a year
Thu 03 Jan 2013
Land Registry: House prices up 0.9% in a year
By The 'topsy-turvy' nature of the housing market was further revealed today as official figures showed that prices edged up over the course of the year, but sales slowed.
Property prices increased by 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis in November according to Land Registry figures to reach 161,490 across England and Wales, pushing them almost one per cent higher than a year earlier.
Prices in London are continuing to rise far quicker than the average, with a 5.9 per cent annual gain posted, but latest transaction figures showed the top-end market is cooling with sales of properties costing 2m or more down 26 per cent in a year. The vast majority of these transactions take place in the capital. This was a far bigger decline than the wider market, although sales overall were sluggish with 57,971 transactions taking place between June and September 2012, representing a drop of around seven per cent on the same period in 2011.
Distractions such as the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee have been blamed for disrupting the housing market last summer.
There have been conflicting predictions for house prices this year, with some studies forecasting slight increases, some saying prices will edge lower, and others predicting they will be broadly flat all of this showing how unpredictable house prices are in the current economic climate. Peter Rollings, chief executive of estate agent Marsh & Parsons, said: 'Rising national house prices will provide cheer for homeowners who have seen their equity dwindle since the initial credit crunch, but the falling number of moves taking place highlights the topsy-turvy nature of last year's housing market.
'Even as late as September, the market was struggling to come to terms with distractions earlier in the summer, which hampered the number of buyers in a position to finalise moves in the month.
'But recent improvements in mortgage lending, combined with rising national house prices point towards a more positive end to the year and start to 2013.' Continuing a long-running theme, London recorded the strongest year-on-year house price increase in November, with a 5.9 per cent rise taking typical prices to 362,592.
But some analysts have predicted that the top end of the London market could cool down slightly in 2013, following a seven per cent stamp duty rate which was placed on homes worth over 2million last spring. The North East recorded the highest monthly house price rise across England and Wales in November, with a 2.4 per cent increase, although on a year-on-year basis the region has also seen the biggest fall, with a 2.9 per cent drop taking average prices to 98,304.
Wales was the region with the biggest monthly house price fall in November, with a 1.6 per cent drop taking average prices to 115,202 and values were 0.9 per cent lower than a year ago.
Some studies have found evidence that a North-South divide in the housing market has narrowed in recent months, with the gap between asking and selling prices shrinking in northern regions.
The Government launched a multi-billion pound scheme in August to kick-start lending to households and businesses, which has prompted an increase in mortgage availability and a price war among mortgage lenders who have slashed their rates.
But much of the strongest competition so far has been aimed at people with larger deposits and would-be buyers still face the hurdle of meeting lenders' toughened borrowing criteria amid the difficult economy.