The latest seasonally adjusted* monthly figures from the Land Registry show that December saw both a monthly and annual increase in house prices. The average house price was £162,080; 0.8% higher than in November, and 1.7% higher than in December 2011. In index terms - taking house prices in January 1995 as a base 100% – the index figure now stands at 260.3.
Interestingly, the Land Registry also revealed that the year-on-year property transaction volume decreased by 7.11% between July and October 2012 (from 62,073 to 57,661), likely due to diminished affordability for first time buyers and a number of buy to let investors maintaining static portfolios. It may be that loosening lending criteria will mean that overall lending will increase – more transactions at higher values – going in to 2013.
The regional figures show fewer monthly and annual decreases than increases, but as always, London is pushing up the average to a considerable degree, with a monthly price rise of 3.1% and a fairly considerable annual price rise of 8.4%. The average house price in London, the highest in the UK, is £371,223.
The North West, where the average house price is £108,257, saw the largest negative monthly and annual movement (-0.9% and -3.5% respectively). The lowest average house price, however, remains in the North East, the only region with a five-figure average (£99,974).
Looking deeper at price movements in counties and unitary authorities, the figures show wilder deviations. Prices are as low as £68,683 in Kingston upon Hull, and monthly decreases as large as -6.8% in Hartlepool. The stability occurs at the higher end of the spectrum, and the index shows that whilst London and the South East tend to balance the national figures out, prices are still volatile in many areas.
* The Land Registry’s data is revised each month as additional data is added – please see www.landregistry.gov.uk for more information.