Property turnover has recovered strongly and house prices are inching higher, according to the Land Registry?s latest report. Prices in England and Wales have already risen by 5.05% this year, the Registry said, to an average of £192,745. The biggest increases were seen in the north-east of England, while Conwy in Wales suffered the largest drop.
But despite indicating a healthy property market, the figures show that house price growth in the regions remains patchy with growth of less than 2% in the South West.
The Land Registry?s figures show that transaction volumes are up 37.5% – thus painting a similar picture to other recent housing market indicators from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and Knight Frank.
Not surprisingly, London dominates the prime property market ?1,032 £1 million-plus homes have been sold over the last year and 652 were in the capital. Within London, the most expensive boroughs to buy a home were Kensington & Chelsea (average £827,553), Westminster (£637,954) and Camden (£498,702).
House prices in the North, North West and Yorkshire & Humberside were all up more than 7% according to the Registry, while annual growth in the South West, East Midlands and East Anglia was less than 2%. Based on those numbers, real house prices actually fell year-on-year in the latter three regions. Prices in Conwy, Wales, experienced the biggest drop, falling almost 7% since last year.
Meanwhile, the cheapest houses are disappearing from the market. In the first three months of this year, just 18 properties were sold for less than £10,000. Thus despite offering a positive short term outlook, the Land Registry figures do nothing to change property economists? views that the housing market recovery will slow down in the second half of this year, with turnover stabilising and slower house price growth.