Land Registry reports both annual and monthly increases in London, although commentators argue the UK market as a whole is on a short eurozone leash.
London continued to top the tables for house price increases in April while average house prices for the whole of the UK declined 0.3 per cent, data from Land Registry revealed.
According to the April 2012 market trend data from Land Registry, average property prices in England and Wales were £160,417 in April.
London bucks the overall trend of falling house prices, experiencing a rise of 5.1 per cent compared to both the previous month and the previous April, to an average price of £360,721
Meanwhile, Yorkshire and Humber experienced a greater annual decline in house prices than any other UK region, with average prices falling 5.6 per cent to £115,783. The region reporting the largest monthly decline in prices was the West Midlands, where prices decreased 2.7 per cent compared to March to £126,527.
During February 2012, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by nine per cent to 43,331, compared with 39,670 in February 2011.
David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “On top of finding the funds for significant deposits, thousands of buyers now need to pull together enough cash to pay the taxman, and this will result in an even longer tenure in the private rented sector for many.
“But the fall also points to lenders being forced to pull back on higher LTV lending as a result of negative economic news and the ongoing crisis on the continent, and this is proving an additional hurdle for new buyers.
“However, despite the drop, it is well worth noting that house prices are still higher than at the end of 2011, highlighting the resilience of the housing market in spite of the economic climate.”
Richard Sexton, director of E.surv chartered surveyors, said: “The housing market is being propped up like a Friday night drunk by landlords and wealthier buyers. House prices are tied to events across the Channel, and the market is feeling the full force of the political chaos that is paralysing the eurozone.
“The crisis is stemming the flow of mortgages, which is stifling first time buyer activity and dragging down prices. Fear in the investor markets over the future of the euro has pushed banks funding costs up by 40 per cent since February. The major banks have responded by bumping up mortgage rates, and reducing lending to first time buyers to protect their balance sheets.”
By Michael Trudeau | Published May 29, 2012
Tue, May 29, 2012
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