House prices in England and Wales continued to fall in April, dropping by 0.3 per cent compared with the previous month and by one per cent since the same time last year. Figures from the Land Registry show the average property price stood at GBP160,417 last month, compared with GBP160,372 in March. The West Midlands experienced the biggest month-on-month fall at 2.7 per cent, while Yorkshire and the Humber saw the largest annual drop at 5.6 per cent.
However, some regions did see house price increases in April. London recorded both the highest monthly and annual rises at 5.1 per cent for both. EA Shaw, a property consultancy, recently said foreign buyers are flocking to the capital thanks to its safe haven status in the face of the ongoing eurozone crisis.
Elsewhere, the north-east, which had the biggest month-on-month rise in March at 5.6 per cent, experienced a 2.1 per cent drop in April. The Land Registry's figures also show that more than 51,000 home sale prices were sent for registration in April, with values starting at GBP8,000 and going up to as much as GBP55 million. Completed property sales rose by nine per cent in February - the most up-to-date statistics available for this metric - to reach 43,331.
The numbers contrast with those from Hometrack, which recently reported a 0.2 per cent rise in English and Welsh property prices for May, compared with increases of 0.2 and 0.1 per cent respectively for March and April. Despite the upward movement in the headline growth figure, the market is unlikely to see significant expansion any time soon, Hometrack research director Richard Donnell said. "Increased mortgage rates and mounting concerns over the impact of the eurozone on the UK's economic growth and employment are likely to keep demand and prices in check as we move into summer," he commented.
- Thursday 31 May 2012