Property Market Fact File – April 2012

Bank Lending Rate
It has been confirmed that the Bank of England Monetary Committee have decided that the Bank Base Rate is to remain at 0.5% for a further month.  It has been at this very low level for a record period of over three years.
Source: Bank of England

Mortgage Lending by the Major UK Lenders
According to initial data from the major UK lenders, (which comprises Banco Santander, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide and Royal Bank of Scotland), total mortgage approvals for house purchase fell from £5.3 billion in January to £5.1 billion in February. Remortgaging also fell, from £3.9 billion in January to £3.5 billion in February.
Source: Bank of England

Land Registry’s Property Prices in England and Wales
The Average Price of a property in England and Wales is now £161,588 as at the end of February 2012.
The Monthly change in January in England and Wales was a rise of 0.1%.
The Annual change to January in England and Wales was a fall of 0.6%.
Source: Land Registry

Halifax House Price Index figures.
The average price of a house by the end of February 2012 was £160,118, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index (published 6th March 2012). House prices in February were 0.5% lower than in December, and the quarterly figure showed a 1.1% drop. The seasonally adjusted figures show that house prices are 1.9% lower than at this time last year, measured by the average for the latest quarter against the same period a year earlier.
Source: Halifax

Nationwide House Price Index figures
Nationwide House Price Index figures published on 29th March 2012 showed that the average cost of a home in the UK was £163,327 during the month of March. After seasonal adjustment, this is a 1% fall from February, and the annual rate is also down, by 0.9%.
Source: Nationwide

Rightmove House Price Index figures
Rightmove’s February survey (published 19th March 2012) shows the asking price of a typical UK property in the period from 12th February 2012 to 10th March 2012 was £236,939, a increase of 1.6% on the previous month. House asking prices are now 2.2% higher than a year ago.
Source: Rightmove

RICS survey overview
The RICS Housing Market Survey for February says that while demand has been boosted by the imminent expiry of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers of properties under £250,000, other underlying factors must be at work, as there is a “better tone to the activity and confidence data remains intact”. The West Midlands and East Anglian regions saw the largest falls in house prices in the quarter to February 2012, and only London saw prices rising.
In the month of February, Wales and the North-West had the highest level of newly agreed sales, whereas the West Midlands had the lowest. London and Wales had the highest level of new buyer enquiries, while the South-East had the lowest. The highest level of new vendor instructions was in the North-West, and the lowest was in East Anglia.
Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

New Mortgages granted – January figures
The Council of Mortgage Lenders reports that in January 2012, 35,600 loans were made for house purchase, worth £5.3 billion. This is much higher than last January in number (22%), and in value (23%).  However, these figures are 25% and 24% lower (respectively) than December’s figures.
First-time buyer loans totalled 13,200, valued at £1.6 billion, which is down by 30% both in number and value on last month. However, it is 23% higher on both counts than last year’s figures.
The number and value of remortgage loans fell in the month – 22,400 loans worth £3.6 billion in January. These figures are 22% lower than last month’s in terms of volume, and 23% lower in value. However, they have increased by 20% in number and 16% by value since last January.
Source: Council of Mortgage Lenders

New Mortgages granted – February estimates
The Council of Mortgage Lenders reports that February’s estimated figure for gross mortgage lending in the UK is £10.7 billion. This is 14% higher than last February (£9.4 billion), and much the same as January’s £10.65 billion.
Source: Council of Mortgage Lenders

Regional trends in Rightmove Estate Agents Asking House Prices in England and Wales.
Rightmove’s February survey shows the asking price of a typical UK property in the period from 12th February 2012 to 10th March 2012 increased in all areas of England and Wales. The largest increase in asking prices by Rightmove registered estate agents in the period is in East Anglia, where the average asking price is up 3.9% to £223,558. This region had the largest annual increase as well ­– 3.5% higher than a year ago.
The smallest increase is 0.2%, which occurred in the West Midlands.  Annually, this region had the largest decrease, where the average asking price is down 2.9% on last year to £181,925.
Source: Rightmove

Regional Analysis of Land Registry’s House Prices in England and Wales.
The Land Registry’s February survey shows the prices of a typical UK property per region as follows:
The largest monthly increase was in Wales, which saw an increase over the month of 2.0%, bringing the average house price to £117,927. However, this is 1.9% down on last year.
Greater London continues to show an increase in house prices – at an average of £354,300, it is 1.4% higher than last month and 4.2% higher than a year ago. The only other region to have a significant annual price rise is the South East, which rose by 1.1% to £209,065 over the year.
The largest monthly decrease in price is the North East of England, where the average price is down 2.6% to £99,385, which is 2.5% lower than a year ago.
The largest annual price decrease is 3.5% in the North West of England, where the average house price is now £110,931. However, this is only 0.5% lower than last month.
Source: Land Registry

Analysis of Land Registry’s House Prices in England and Wales by County/Unitary authority.
The Land Registry’s February survey shows the prices of a typical UK property per county or unitary authority as follows:
In a complete turnaround, the highest monthly price increase is in Merthyr Tidfil, Wales, where the average price is up by 8.6% to £61.911. This region saw the largest fall last month, and it is still 8.6% (coincidentally) lower than last year.
The next highest monthly increase is in Redcar and Cleveland, where prices increased by 2.9% to £106,608 this month.
The largest monthly decrease in price is in Hartlepool, where prices fell by 3.7% to £75,893. This same area saw the largest annual fall in prices too (15.3%).
The second largest annual drop is in Wales – Blaenau Gwent saw a fall of 10.2% on last year.
Source: Land Registry

Rightmove’s Asking Prices by Property Type
Rightmove have published figures showing National Asking Prices analysed by property type.
In the year to 10th March 2012, the average change over all property types is an increase of 2.2%. Flats’ and apartments’ prices continue to perform well, at a 3.1% increase over the year, and terraced properties not far behind with a 2.8% annual increase. Semi-detached property asking prices rose by 1.0% over the year, and detached properties’ asking prices increased by 1.6%.
Source: Rightmove

Land Registry’s Average Prices by Property Type
The Land Registry’s February average price figures analysed by property type show that the prices for all types of property have fallen by 0.6% in the year since February 2011. The average price is now £161,588.
Flats & Maisonette properties were the only type to rise – by 0.6% to £151,942. Terraced properties fell by 0.5% over the year, to £123,314. Semi-detached properties fell by 0.8% to an average of £152,720, and Detached properties fell by 1.6% to £253,678.
Source: Land Registry

Outstanding Mortgage Debt
The average outstanding mortgage for the 11.2m households who currently have mortgages is estimated at £111,260 in January 2012.
Total secured lending in the UK on dwellings was £1,248 billion at the end of January 2012. This is up from the previous January’s £1,240 billion.
Source: Credit Action

Hometrack Monthly House Price Survey
Hometrack compile sample data monthly from thousands of Estate Agents in all 2,300 postcodes in England and Wales. The figures are weighted according to postcode, but not seasonally adjusted.
March’s figures show that the average amount of time that a house is on the market has now dropped to 9.7 weeks (it was 10.2 in January). Regionally, this ranges from less than 6 weeks in London, and 8.4 weeks in the southern counties, to 11.6 weeks in the Midlands and North of England.
On average, 93% of the asking price is achieved.
14.7% of postcode districts reported a price increase in March, compared to 7.7% in February, and 9.2% of them had a price decrease over the month, reduced from 19% last month.
Source: Hometrack

Latest Property Sales Volumes by price range
According to the Land Registry, in the year to December 2011, 61,470 sales transactions took place in England and Wales, plus 7,872 in London. This represents a rise of 8% and  6% respectively since last December, (56,875 and 7,405 respectively).
The number of sales of properties in the price bracket between £1.5 and £2 million rose throughout the country – in London from 54 to 75 over the year (a 39% rise) and in England and Wales from 90 to 109 (a 21% rise).
However, in the price bracket £1 to £1.5 million, the number fell, both in London (by 25% from 213 to 160) and the rest of the country (by 20% from 344 to 276).
At the lower end of the scale, sales of properties up to £100k rose from last December, by 24% from 63 to 78 in London, and by 10.7% from 8,677 to 9,605 in the rest of England & Wales.
Source: Land Registry

Rightmove’s analysis of asking prices by London Borough.
In the period from 12th February 2012 to 10th March 2012, the asking prices in Wandworth rose by 7.8%, closely followed by 7.6% in Lambeth. However, in Hounslow, asking prices fell by 4% in the month.
Over the year, Richmond-upon-Thames saw an increase of almost a quarter (24.4%) and Wandsworth saw nearly as much (23.3% increase). The only borough not to have seen an annual increase was Sutton, where average asking prices fell by 0.4% over the year.
Source: Rightmove

Analysis of Nationwide’s UK House Prices Index report for Q1 2012.
In Quarter 1 of 2012, the average UK house price has been calculated (after seasonal adjustment) as £162,722 by the Nationwide. This is 0.1% lower than Q4/11, and gives an annual figure of 0.2% increase. For the second successive quarter, the most expensive region in the UK to buy a property is, not surprisingly, London, and the least expensive region is Northern Ireland.
House prices in Northern Ireland are now 8.6% down on last year, and 2.1% down on last quarter, standing at an average of £109,562.
On the other hand, London had an increase in house prices of 2.3% on last year, but a 0.7% decrease on last quarter.
Wales’ quarterly change was a drop of 3.1%, and an annual decrease of 2.9%. Scotland’s house prices remained fairly steady – 0.5% up on last quarter, but 0.2% down from last year.
In terms of affordability (the house price to earnings ratio), the average across the UK is 5.1 times average earnings.
Looking at towns and cities within England, Cambridge and Liverpool performed best, even better than London, with house price increases of 13% and 10% respectively since last year.
The worst performance in England was Carlisle, where prices dropped by 5% in the year, although Belfast in Northern Ireland saw a drop of 15% and Edinburgh in Scotland dropped by 6% in the same period.
Over the past ten years, house prices in Aberdeen City have risen by 140% to £222,868, whereas in Swindon, they have only risen by 32%, to £177,462.
Source: Nationwide

Land Registry Quarterly Sales Volumes
In the last quarter of 2011 (the latest for which figures are available), the average number of house sales per month was 60,392. This is up on the same quarter in 2010, when the average was 57,334 sales per month. They say that “transaction volumes have been relatively consistent” over the last 22 months.
Source: Land Registry

Since this Fact File was compiled, the UK has slipped into another recession. Find out the details in next month’s edition due in early May.

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