Equities.com: House Prices up 1% latest figures show
Wed 28 Aug 2013
House prices in England and Wales rose by 1% in July according to the latest figures from the Land Registry,double the monthly increase recorded in June and the highest single monthly jump since January 2012.
The data, based on completed sales of properties changing hands at least once since 1995, lags the other house price indices and puts the average price of a property at 164,098, an increase of 0.8% on July 2012. It is now four months since the Land Registry index last recorded a monthly fall in prices, adding to growing evidence that the housing market has turned a corner, buoyed by government stimulus. The Funding for Lending scheme launched in August 2012 has been credited with making mortgages more easily available to borrowers, particularly those with small deposits, and in the second quarter of the year mortgage lenders said first-time buyer numbers had returned to 2007 levels.
Meanwhile, the first part of Help to Buy, which offers buyers interest-free loans, seems to have boosted newbuild sales and prices, although these are not recorded in the Land Registry's index. Warnings that a house price bubble may be fuelled by the second part of the scheme, set to launch in January 2014, have led the new governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, to say he will monitor the market and take action if necessary.
The Land Registry figures showed prices were higher than in June in all but two areas Wales and the north-west, where they dropped by 0.5% and 0.1% respectively. The East Midlands recorded a 2.1% jump in prices over the month, more than offsetting the 0.9% fall recorded in une, while in the north-east there was a 2% rise. In London, which has seen more consistent growth than elsewhere, prices were up by 2.1% month-on-month and by 6.3% over the year, to an average of 385,799. Some areas of the capital are still registering annual growth in double digits, with prices in Lambeth showing the biggest rise, at 11.4%. Growth in other boroughs has slowed, including in the "prime" neighbourhood of Kensington and Chelsea, where the Land Registry figures show a 6.5% rise since July 2012, to 1.15m.
Although a sizeable leap, the annual rate of inflation has dropped from more than 12% in March. Henry Pryor, a buying agent and property market commentator, said there was a growing disconnect between sold prices and asking prices, as recorded by the estate agency website Rightmove's monthly index. Its latest figures showed asking prices were up by 20,000 over the year so far, and had increased by 10% in London since August 2012. "Some agents are clearly trying to 'buy' instructions as stock remains tight and concern now turns to the end of the year and whether buyers will wait for the second phase of Help to Buy, which launches in the New Year," Pryor said. House prices up 1%, latest figures show"Average asking prices continue to climb according to websites like Rightmove.co.uk, but deal prices, recorded by the Land Registry, shows the credibility gap opening up.
Buyers now appreciate that a guide price is often more a clue as to the estate agents' greed than the true worth of the property." The latest transaction volume figures which cover May show the number of properties changing hands for more than 1m increased by 28% year-on-year, to 740. According to estate agent Marsh & Parsons, rising property prices mean that the cost of a two-bedroom home in London's richest boroughs is set to break through the 1m-mark in early 2014. The agent said the price of these properties had risen by 14% over the past year to reach 909,203. With an average of 18 buyers chasing every property, it said prices were set to continue to rise, although the rate.