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House prices continue upward march – Land Registry

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House prices continued to march upwards in most regions of England and Wales during April, the latest figures from the Land Registry have shown.
House prices continue upward march – Land Registry

The average house price across England and Wales grew 1.5 per cent between March and April to reach £172,069.

Only the North East saw a decline in property values month-on-month, with the region witnessing a 1.9 per cent drop in prices.

All areas were up compared to the same point last year with an average rise of 6.7 per cent across England and Wales.

London continued to lead the way with houses now worth 17 per cent more than at the same point in 2013.

The Land Registry processed 69,830 residential properties in England and Wales during April with values ranging from £8,000 to £27.9m.

The number of homes sold for more than £1m in February 2014, the latest figures available, was 836. This represents a 65 per cent increase on the same month in 2013.

Repossession volumes decreased by a third in the year to February 2014, with 936 properties repossessed compared with 1,387 a year earlier.

Nicholas Ayre, managing director of buying agency Home Fusion, warned the housing market was beginning to peak in some areas as buyers refused to match the expectations of sellers.

“Although the Land Registry reports that prices continue to rise, the housing market is softening as sentiment changes. Estate agents are finding that buyers are increasingly unwilling to pay the crazy prices that some vendors are asking.

“Whether it’s down to affordability or buyers taking heed of concerns about a bubble, they are less willing to risk their money and pay over the odds. And with more property coming onto the market there is less desperation than there was a few months ago.”

Separate research by LSL also showed the number of first-time buyer transactions reached 26,300 in April, 46.9 per cent higher than 12 months ago.

However, the growing property market means the average purchase price has ballooned 10.2 per cent to reach £149,655.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said rising house prices were making it more difficult for young buyers to raise a suitable deposit.

“Saving for a deposit remains the number one challenge preventing many prospective home-owners from getting on the ladder – even with Help to Buy in position,” he said.

“The scheme is still a keystone in the recovery of the first-time buyer market. Some areas of the country are still limping out of the recession slump. Buyers in these areas are still waiting to feel the effects of the recovery in their wallets. In the meantime, while prices continue to rise, they need help in order to be able to get onto the housing ladder.”

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