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Property prices in England and Wales down slightly month on month

Residential property prices in England and Wales increased by 6.1% in the year to February 2016 taking the average value to 190,275. The latest data from the Land Registry also shows that overall month on month prices fell by 0.2% but most regions have seen prices rise. London has seen the greatest increase in average property values over the last 12 months with a rise of 13.5% to 530,368 but at the opposite end the North East saw prices fall by 3.2% year on year. The North East also saw the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 1.2% the North West saw the greatest monthly price rise with a rise of 1.8%.

According to David Brown, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, the monthly dip in property prices disguises the fact that the majority of regions are experiencing striking growth. There have been a lot of stimulants spurring on the housing market this spring To beat the 01 April implementation of additional stamp duty, second home buyers and buy to let investors have been frantically pushing through purchase completions as quickly as possible, he pointed out. We’ve had documents collected and delivered by hand across London to solicitors to avoid postal delays, and our teams have been in at the crack of dawn to make sure all parties involved in the transaction are meeting their deadlines, he explained. This short term whirlwind should go some way to balance out the slower sales activity seen at the end of last year, but only time will tell how buy to let demand tapers off as we enter into new territory. As buy to let investors face yet another blow from the banks, the incredibly strong buyer demand were seeing will take the reins, and keep the market on a stable course, he added.

Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner, pointed out that price rises in London are more than double the rate compared to all other regions excluding the South East and the East. High demand, a shortage in supply and out of reach properties in prime central London, has seen potential buyers flocking to outer London boroughs for more affordable housing and in turn that has pushed prices ever skyward. Six of the outer boroughs have experienced annual price rises of more than 15% with Hillingdon top of the league at 17.1%, he said. Again the upward trends continue west of the capital along the M4 corridor with Slough notching up a 19% annual increase. There’s a widening gulf with the rest of England and particularly Wales with the average house at a fifth of the price you pay in London. And sadly, were likely to see downward pressure on prices in south Wales over increasing uncertainty around Steel jobs in Port Talbot, he added.

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