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Haart reveals house price rise

Amanda Jarvis

May 8, 2006

The average price rose by 1.5 per cent in April as the property market remained buoyant, with transaction levels at their highest so far this year. Activity level is up by over 50 per cent from this time last year.

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The average price of a property in London is now £247,730, up from £243,963 in March which also saw a 1.5 per cent increase in prices.

The level of first-time buyers has dipped slightly in April, making up 27 per cent of the market share. South-west London has seen the highest percentage growth in house prices this month at 4.3 per cent.

FIRST TIME BUYER LEVELS WAVER AS GROUP REMAINS PRICE SENSITIVE

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart estate agents, commented: “There has been an encouraging trend of first-time buyers returning to the market from the end of last year as confidence has returned. However, potential first-time buyers are still price sensitive and as average prices approached £250,000 this month, the level of first-time buyers in the market decreased by 1 per cent to 27 per cent. This could be the first sign of this group falling away again as prices move beyond their reach.

“The housing market has been particularly buoyant over the Easter period, as confidence remains high, under the backdrop of continued household growth and a stable interest rate outlook. Transaction levels are well above those of last year and we expect this level of activity to continue well into the summer months. However, the market continues to be price sensitive and the properties that sell quickly are the ones that are correctly priced.”

LOOKING AHEAD

As the housing market in the capital has had a very strong start to the year with increased demand, haart believes London house prices are on track to increase by as much as 7 per cent in the first half of the year, having already risen by 6 per cent since January. Haart expects that this increase will drop back in the second six months to a 5 per cent increase.

LONDON-WIDE VARIATIONS

Location, location, location has played a major part in determining house prices in April, with the most desirable areas seeing high property values and generally meeting the asking price. The south-west has the highest average price at £273,362 with values in the west and the south also high. The south-west has also seen the largest increase in prices since March, going up by as much as 4.3 per cent whilst the prices in the south went up by 3.2 per cent.


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