The latest statistics from the Land Registry, released at the end of April, show house prices overall down by 0.4 per cent, yet still 5.6 per cent higher than a year ago. The number of completed transactions was up by 35 per cent at almost 75,000 properties a month.
In London, the average house price was £414,000 compared to the UK average of £169,000, with prices up 0.6 per cent in March, and 12.6 per cent up year on year, showing a similar but more pronounced trend to the rest of the UK.
In terms of property type, the fastest growth was recorded for flats and maisonettes at 8.6 per cent; nevertheless, every other property type saw an annual increase of more than five per cent.
Some significant differences emerge when the data is segregated by region. London is the fastest growing region in terms of price at 12.6 per cent, while Wales saw a small decrease of 1.6 per cent year on year. Yorkshire & the Humber recorded the lowest regional increase at 1.8 per cent, and the East the highest at 7.1 per cent, all other areas falling between the two.
However, a further breakdown by county and unitary authority shows a much wider range of price movement from plus 12.4 per cent in Greater London to minus 15.7 per cent in Blaenau Gwent.
Of the metropolitan districts, the best performing area on price was Oldham, up 11.6 per cent annually, while its near neighbour, Salford, saw a movement of only 1.4 per cent. Newcastle and Knowsley both showed the largest increases for the month, while the greatest price reductions were in Wolverhampton and South Tyneside by month and year respectively. Within London, Waltham Forest saw the highest annual price rise at a remarkable 23.5 per cent, the lowest being Harrow at 4.4 per cent.
These significant variations, based as they are on completions, are the best guide to price and highlight the importance of obtaining expert advice and guidance from your estate agent.
Finally, in terms of volumes sold by price of the property, all bands over £50,000 saw increases of more than 30 per cent. The top end of the market performed best, with volume for properties priced between £0.5 million and £1 million increasing by 70 per cent and those over a million pounds by more than 60 per cent. Overall, almost all price bands over £100,000 saw volume increases of more than 40 per cent, so the market is buoyant and dynamic across the range.
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