Property transactions fall 13% as price gap escalates

Property transactions fall 13% as price gap escalates

Property transactions for the first quarter of this year fell by 13 per cent as the property price gap between London and the other regions in England and Wales continued to widen.

Land Registry’s house price index revealed that from January to April last year, there were an average of 66,949 sales per month and, for the same period this year, that figure stood at 57,918.

The data backs calls by a mortgage broker for regulators and policy makers to consider the Mortgage Market Review’s impact on residential lending levels, stating that buy-to-let is able to benefit more as it falls outside regulatory constraints.

Independent broker Private Finance warned the regulation on residential mortgages could “potentially exclude an entire generation of home buyers from the property market and force them into the private rental sector for years to come”.

Meanwhile, Land Registry’s June house price index showed that annual house prices, led again by London, increased by 5.4 per cent in the 12 months to June. This brings the average house price in England and Wales to £181,619.

However, London saw an annual house price change of 9.2 per cent, which takes the average property price to £481,820 - £300,000 more than the average for England and Wales.

All ten regions in England and Wales saw annual house price growth. Following London, the south east saw price growth of 8.4 per cent, taking average property prices to £247,375 and properties in the east grew by 7.8 per cent, marking average property prices to £203,428.

Yorkshire and Humber properties grew the least, at 1.4 per cent which takes the average house price to £121,070.

Guy Meacock, head of the London office of buying agency Prime Purchase, flagged up that while London continues to lead the way in house price growth, “the period of stratospheric growth” has passed.

Furthermore, data released today (28 July) by the Office for National Statistics revealed that the construction output for the second quarter of this year was flat, which does not suggest the Conservative parties have started to make good on their new homes promise.

Duncan Kreeger, director of West One Loans, said that while house prices have now returned to pre-crash levels, it is frustrating for first-time buyers who are struggling to get on the ladder, adding that the ONS data “doesn’t suggest the miracle of new homes the UK needs”.

He commented that lack of supply places further price pressure on existing stock and means that prospective homeowners are facing an uphill struggle. “We heard plenty of promises before the general election about how many new homes would be built each year and now is the time for the government to make good on their pledge.

“Developers and those reintroducing properties to the UK’s housing stock need lending support to help deliver this, and while short-term providers have taken up some of the slack, high street lenders need to follow suit.”