Western Mail: Topsy-Turvy house market
Thu 03 Jan 2013
Despite the lure of the nation's des-reses, Wales yesterday posted the biggest monthly regional house price fall in the latest Land Registry figures.
The statistcs for November show a 1.6% drop, taking average prices to 115,202. It meant prices were 0.9% lower in Wales than they were a year earlier.
The fall was in stark contrast to the total figure across England and Wles taken together where average prices increased by 0.3% month-on-month in November to reach 161,490 pushing them 0.9% higher than a year earlier.
But sales were more sluggish, with 57,971 transactions taking place between June and September 2012, representing a drop of around 7% on the same period in 2011.
Distractions such as the Olympics have been blamed for disrupting the housing market last summer.
There have been conflicting predictions for UK house prices this year, with some studies forecasting slight increases, some saying prices will edge lower, and others predicting they will be boradly flat.
Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agent Marsh & Parsons said "Rising national house prices will provide cheer for homeowners who have seen their equity dwindle since the intial 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."
London recorded the strongest year-on-year house price increase in November, with a 5.9% rise taking typical prices to 362,592.
Prices also rose at an above-average rate in London on a month-on-month basis, recording a 0.5% increase.
The North East of England recorded the highest monthly house price rise across England and Wales in November, with a 2.$% increase.