Land Reg: House prices up in April

Robyn Hall

May 30, 2013

Repossession volumes decreased by 28% in February 2013 to 1,293 compared with 1,788 in February 2012.

England and Wales experienced the greatest increase in average property value over the last 12 months with London recording a movement of 6.2%. The capital also registered the greatest monthly increase at 1.4%.

Paul Munford, chief executive at MCIFA, said: “The relentless march of the London property market continues apace.

“The capital is consistently out-performing other areas of the UK because it is asset-driven rather than income-driven, international rather than national.

“The rest of England and Wales is much more sensitive to the domestic economy, which, while improving, is still relatively weak.”

The North East registered the biggest annual decrease with a fall of 5.7%. On a monthly basis the North East also recorded the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 1.6%.

Munford said: “Nowhere is this more pronounced than the North East, where prices are really struggling.

“Overall, the UK market, driven by the Funding for Lending Scheme, has definitely picked up.

“We can only hope that, as the economy strengthens and unemployment falls, some of the harder hit regional property markets will start to recover.

“It’s certainly encouraging to see that all areas of England and Wales have seen repossessions fall.”

The figures also revealed that the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 3% to 43,573 during February 2013 compared with 44,829 in February 2012.

The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1m in February 2013 also increased by 3% to 488 from 475 in February 2012.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “A rising tide lifts all ships, which is why increasing house prices play an important role in keeping optimism high throughout the whole market.

“But for those struggling to get onto the property ladder, the immediate outlook now requires ever more careful planning and saving.

“House prices are increasing faster than people can save, which is pushing their dream of homeownership further into the horizon. Aspiring homeowners have seen the prospect become £640 pounds more distant in just one month.

“For plenty of people renting remains a much more realistic and affordable option. April’s annualised house price rise is 4.9%, while the latest data shows rents have risen by 3.9% in the last year.

“Landlords are expanding the supply of rental properties, and this is helping to control rents in many areas.

“However, particularly in the denser parts of the UK, rents are not being matched by employment prospects and wage growth.

“Economic optimism is one thing, but monthly economic reality is another.”

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