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UK house prices edge downwards – Land Registry

One region in England and Wales experienced an increase in its average property value over the last 12 months.

This was London with an annual price change increase of 0.8%.

The only region which experienced a monthly rise was the North West with a movement of 0.7%.

The North East experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of -9.3%.

Wales is the region with the most significant monthly price fall with a movement of -3.3%.

The most up-to-date figures available show that during January 2011, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales rose by 2% to 36,425 from 35,809 in January 2010.

The number of properties sold in England and Wales for more than £1million increased by 6% between January 2010 and January 2011, from 460 to 486.

Eric Stoclet, CEO of Crown Mortgage Management said: "March’s dramatic drop in property values was fuelled primarily by tight mortgage lending. Lenders are unwilling to bow to the pressure to open the floodgates before they have enough information to feel confident about the state of the economy. Although the UK staved off recession in the first quarter of the year, the biggest hurdles to financial stability lie ahead. The economic picture of austerity Britain is yet to properly materialise and lenders are aware that ultimately it could become a very gloomy scene indeed. Higher taxes and either high inflation or interest rate rises (or possibly both for some transition period), compounded by an inevitable rise in unemployment will put pressure on borrowers – especially those on tracker rates – and it’s hard to blame lenders for their nervousness in the circumstances. Without increased liquidity and some degree of certainty as relates to the economy, the property market will remain at best subdued in the coming months."

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