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Guaranteed Rent | Modest rise in house prices in England and Wales, latest figures show

Guaranteed rent – Modest rise in house prices in England and Wales, latest figures show


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Residential prices in England and Wales increased by 0.1% in February compared with the previous month, according to the latest land registry figures published today (Friday 23 March).


The Land Registry’s flagship House Price Index also shows that there has been an annual price decrease of 0.6%, bringing the average house prices to £161,588.


The region in England and Wales which experienced the highest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with an increase of 4.2%. Wales experienced the greatest monthly rise with a rise of 2%.


The North West of England saw the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of 3.5% while the North East saw the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 2.6%.


The most up to date figures available show that, during December 2011, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales


increased by 8% to 61,470 compared to 56,875 in December 2010.
The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in December 2011 decreased by 13% to 488 from 559 in December 2010.


The South East tops the table of regional applications with 250,045 in February. Over 56,000 residential property sale prices in England and Wales were lodged for registration in February.


As part of its commitment to the Government’s priorities of economic growth and data transparency, detailed Land Registry price paid information is now available monthly in addition to the House Price Index and transaction data.


The first free Price Paid Data released by Land Registry, as a founder member of the Public Data Group, includes details of over 6,000 residential property sales in England and Wales that were lodged for registration in February 2012.


It includes the full address, the price paid, the date of transfer, the property type, whether it is new build or not, and whether it is freehold or leasehold.


The modest rise in house prices last month is a vindication of the proactive approach mortgage lenders have taken over the last few months, according to Paul Hunt, managing director of Phoebus Software.


‘The Council of Mortgage Lenders announced recently that gross mortgage lending has risen for seven consecutive months as the combination of low interest rates and steady house prices have provided an opportunity to lenders to make highly affordable finance available to a growing number of house purchasers,’ he said.


‘But we’re not out of the woods yet. On an annual basis, property prices are still falling and the return of stamp duty for first time buyers, as well as the hefty levy on properties at the top end of the market announced in the budget will put downward pressure on property values,’ he explained.


‘Whether lenders are able to maintain their confidence in the UK’s mortgage borrowers in a more hostile fiscal environment is by no means certain. But the MPC’s ongoing commitment to a doveish monetary policy and the implementation of the government’s NewBuy scheme provide good grounds for optimism that buyers will continue to be able to access the finance with which to support prices,’ he added.


However, David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, points out that while the housing market has been gradually improving in recent months, with both activity and house prices picking up, much of the recent momentum in the sales market has been driven by the flurry of first time buyers hurrying to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline which ends tomorrow.


‘The litmus test for the recovery will be what normal level first time buyer activity returns to in coming months. Lending at this level of the market has begun to show signs of falling back, and while the NewBuy scheme may help to support a limited number of new buyers, we are likely to see a renewed increase in rental demand from frustrated first timers in the coming months, and the private rented sector will continue its growth as the year progresses,’ he said.



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