Annual house price increase of 1.7pc

Sam Cordon

January 29, 2013

The average property value now stands at £162,080 while London experienced the greatest increase with an annual surge of 8.4%. London also experienced the greatest monthly rise with an increase of 3.1%.

But the North West experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of 3.5% – and also saw the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 0.9%.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “December property prices edged higher helping push the annual average figure into positive territory.

“However the national average masks significant regional differences with prices falling in parts of the country and London continuing to outperform the rest.”

Harris added he expected the situation to continue this year.

All regions saw a decrease in repossessions between October 2011 and October 2012 ranging from 8% in the South East to 35% in the North East.

During October 1,524 repossessions were recorded throughout England and Wales which was a 16% drop compared to the same period last year which saw 1,805 repossessions.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “House prices in 2012 saw a continued, if gentle, recovery that will be welcomed by homeowners and investors alike.

“But even more encouraging is the annual fall in the number of repossessions. The labour market has been unexpectedly buoyant in the last year and falling unemployment has helped prevent the number of defaulting borrowers climb.”

However Brown said the continuation of an almost four year base rate low had played a crucial part in subduing repossessions.

Over 54,500 residential properties in England and Wales lodged for registration in December ranging from £10,000 to £14 million.

Meanwhile the South East topped the table of regional applications with 193,079 in December.

The most up-to-date figures available showed that during October 2012 the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 3% to 56,337 compared with 57,988 in October 2011.

And the number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in October 2012 increased by 14% to 623 from 548 in October 2011.

Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly, said: “Prices in London continued their super-caffeinated surge buoyed by a jump in buy-to-let purchases and strong demand from international buyers at the prime end of the market.

“But the huge regional variation in prices means that volatility will continue to dog the housing market this year. With many fearing that the triple-dip could turn into a third recession confidence is still patchy.

“ All eyes will be on house prices in the first quarter of 2013 as they will set the tone for the rest of the year.”

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