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House prices up over the month and year: Land Registry

House prices up over the month and year: Land Registry

Annual house prices have remained stable in the month to April, increasing by 5.1 per cent compared to growth of 5.3 per cent in the 12 months to March, data from Land Registry has revealed.

In England and Wales, house prices increased 0.9 per cent over the month, with the highest regional rise being in Yorkshire and the Humber, up 2.7 per cent, and the largest monthly price decrease being recorded in Wales, down 1.1 per cent.

The average property value in England and Wales was £179,817 last month.

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London experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months, with a movement of 10.9 per cent, while the north east saw the only annual price fall, down 0.6 per cent.

Sales and repossessions during February - the most up-to-date figures available - showed that the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased 17 per cent to 54,103, compared with 64,994 in February 2014.

The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1m decreased by 18 per cent to 722, from 882 a year earlier. Repossessions in England and Wales decreased by 37 per cent to 638, compared with 1,016 in last February.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said that house price rises were looking livelier in April, while annual growth has been curbed somewhat, but mainly by short-term hesitation before the general election.

“The election rattled the cage of the London market more than others, with the threat of Mansion Tax hanging over high-end buyers, who are already having to fork out more on stamp duty; now we’re out of the woods, activity in the capital should start to flourish again.”

He added that the restoration of political normality will only strengthen demand, which should soon translate into sales during the summer. In particular sales of higher value properties are said to be back in numbers since the threat of Labour’s ‘mansion tax’ has receded.

Meanwhile, earlier today (1 June), FTAdviser reported that confidence in the housing market has fallen slightly, despite interest rates still being held at the record-low of 0.5 per cent and average house prices continued to climb.

The net proportion of consumers who now believe the next 12 months will be a good time to buy increased from March to April, while the net proportion who think that the next year will be a good time to sell fell, Halifax revealed.

peter.walker@ft.com