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House prices stable as transactions dip

Residential property prices remained flat across England and Wales in May, despite a fall in property sales.

The Negotiator

property_transactions_electThe latest house price data from the Land Registry shows that house prices in England and Wales remained stable on a monthly basis, despite figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealing that there was a drop in transactions.

Although prices remained flat overall on a monthly basis, there were parts of England and Wales that saw rises, led by London where the average price of a home appreciated by 0.7 per cent month-on-month.

On an annual basis, the Land Registry data revealed that prices rose by an average of 4.6 per cent in the year to May 2015 to £179,696. Again, London led the surge, with prices in the capital increasing by 9.1 per cent year-on-year.

brian_murphy_mab“Land Registry data shows that house prices are continuing to march upwards with London and the South East seeing the greatest annual growth,” said Brian Murphy (left), Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB).

“The trend is not deterring homebuyers, as mortgage approvals are also at their highest since the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) was implemented according to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA). But it does mean that the average borrower is taking out a bigger loan than at any point since the recession, as well as putting up the largest average deposit for six years,” he added.

Home prices in Wales did not perform so well with prices falling by 1.7 percent in May and going down in the year to May by 0.6 percent.

Looking at the prices of different property types over the year, detached houses saw the biggest rise of 5.2 percent, followed by semi-detached houses rising by 4.7 percent, then terraced at 4.5 percent and flats/maisonettes appreciating by 4 percent.
Meanwhile, separate data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show that a total of 98,540 homes were sold in May, down 3 per cent on a year earlier. If this trend continues, there could be an annual fall in property transactions by the end of this year, compared with the 1.2 million or so deals recorded in 2014.

However, with the General Election uncertainty now over, various market analysts predict that there is likely to be a pick-up in activity during the second half of this year.

andy-sommerville-search-acuAndy Sommerville (right), Director of Search Acumen, commented, “It’s still too soon to tell whether the property market can breathe a sigh of relief that business is back on track after the recent slowdown. May’s data shows a slight increase in transactions from April, but we’re still not matching activity levels from last year.

“Positive economic indicators such as falling unemployment and minimal inflation should work in favour of prospective buyers,” he added. “A big jump in the non-seasonally adjusted transaction figures for England in May also hints that some momentum is growing, which makes this the ideal time for conveyancing firms to put the right resources in place and sharpen up their competitive edge.”

July 1, 2015

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