House Prices

House prices for much of the country at long last appear to be notably on the up, as reported by a number of Britain’s largest financial institutions as well as via the Land Registry.

Over recent years any price growth has generally been recorded by London and the South East, whilst falls or zero growth have been most commonly noted in the other regions of the UK – particularly the northern counties. 

In the three months to January house prices rose up to an average of £175,546, which was up 7.3% compared to the same period a year ago.  According to the Halifax’s own figures, 1.1% growth was noted in house prices in January alone despite December and January being notoriously the quietest months of the year for transactions.

Also of note was the Halifax reporting that in excess of 1 million houses were sold in 2013.  This is the first time this has happened since 2007.  With the recession effectively getting underway in very late 2007, this is the first time that there has been a comparable level of transactions since prior to the recession, following the severe economic difficulties we have suffered over recent years.

Lloyds Bank research has also enforced the spread across the UK of house price growth by noting that in every town in the North, the West Midlands and Wales, in addition to the Capital, recorded a year on year increase in home sales.  Indeed, the annual rate was considered to be the fastest six month growth rate to September 2013 for a decade.

Some 98% of towns were found to have enjoyed an annual uplift in volume of sales and whereas a year earlier just over a quarter of towns saw a year on year increase. Those figures were primarily based on analysis of the Land Registry statistics, which found that there were 396,756 house sales in the six months to September 2013; making a 21% increase compared with 2012 and the highest year on year increase in a decade.

Property sales were still considered to be below the market peak of 673,699 sales in 2006, but the figures laid out above, as well as the fact that there was a sum of 23% rise in activity in the North West and East Midlands in the six months to September 2013, are sure signs that the prosperity previously the preserve of the South East is now spreading further afield.

LCB / SRJ                                                                                                                              10.02.14

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