London drives increases as four regions experience a fall
House prices in England and Wales rose by 0.8% in July 2012, the Land Registry said, taking the average price to £162,900.
Overall, prices are 0.3% higher than they were a year ago, but the data indicates that London continues to drive the rest of the market while the north struggles. In the capital, prices rose by 2.7% in July and by 6.5% over the last year.
Independent buying agent, Gabby Adler said: “The Land Registry data shows that the national average increase masks significant regional differences.
“Continuing lack of confidence in the economy and a sense that vendors are still over-pricing their homes in some areas, means many would-be sellers are sitting on their hands as they take a ‘wait and see’ approach.”
On a monthly basis, four of the 10 regions included in the Registry’s index experienced a fall: the north-east (-2.1%); the north-west (-1.7%); the south-west (-0.6%); and Yorkshire and the Humber (-0.1%).
These, along with Wales, also saw prices fall during the last year, with the north-west experiencing the largest fall with a decrease of 3.9%.
Mark Harris of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said the Land Registry data was “less gloomy” than some of the other house price indices “yet the housing market in parts of the country really is suffering”.
The most up-to-date figures show that during May 2012, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by 2% to 50,083, from 48,974 in May 2011 – still well below the volume of transactions seen at the height of the market.
However, the number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1m in May 2012 increased by 107% to 562 from 271 in May 2011.