The Land Registry’s house price index for March 2013 was released on 29 April. It showed an increase in average UK house prices of 0.1% since February and 0.9% since March last year. The average UK house price is currently £161,793 – 259.8% of the average price in January 1995, where the index begins.
41,763 properties were sold in January 2013; a decrease of 5% from the 43,752 sold the year before. However, whilst the number of houses sold for under £250,000 (accounting for 72% of the total transactions) significantly decreased, the sales of more expensive houses increased.
The annual price changes in London are by far the highest regionally, at 9.6% – over eight times the increase in any other region. The capital also saw the highest monthly increase of 2.5%. In the last ten years, prices in London have increased by 48% – over £120,000.
The largest annual decrease was –5.5% in the North East, and the second largest fall was –4.9% in the North West. Outside London, the South East and the East of England, the average yearly movement was –1.47%; only Wales and the West Midlands saw increases from last year.
Writing for the Guardian, Hilary Osborne attributed the buoyancy of the London market to interest from wealthy overseas investors, UK buyers who view London property as a good investment for retirement, and an influx of wealthy French families relocating to London to avoid the higher taxes imposed upon the wealthy in their native country.
Indeed, the index shows that the number of houses above £1million sold in January 2013 was 28.1% larger than in the previous year; above £2million, the increase was 52.1%. Of the 610 houses above £1million sold this year, 412 were in London (67.5%). Above £2million, the figure grows to 80.7% – 113 of the 140 houses sold were located in the capital.
To view the full Land Registry index, click here.