London Still Millionaires’ Favourite

The last quarter of 2004 saw 94 houses over £2m sell in Greater London, according to new Government figures from the Land Registry.

Surrey came second in the table, but a distant second: just seven properties for over £2m changes hands last between October and December. In total, says the Registry, 765 properties over £1million were sold across England and Wales between October and December, five more than in the previous year for the same period.

The data also reveals that the average house price for this quarter increased by 11.82%, compared with a rise of 16.3% in the previous quarter of 2004.

However, these figures initially look more gloomy than they are because the Land Registry?s figures are not seasonally adjusted, as the results from the Halifax and the Nationwide are, to take account of the seasonal dip at the beginning and end of every year.

The actual amounts they record that properties change hands for, however, are considered to be more accurate than other indices, as the Registry records the final agreed amount for a transaction rather than the asking price for a property, which some mortgage lenders rely on.

Regionally, the Registry said that the largest gains were made in Wales, where house prices were up 23% in the fourth quarter, and prices rose most slowly in London, where there was only a percentage increase of 6% on the average house.