No change in monthly house prices from November to December

The only region in England and Wales to experience an increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 2.8 per cent. The North West experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 1.5 per cent. The North East experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of 7.1 per cent and the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 1.9 per cent.
 
The most up-to-date figures available show that, during October 2011, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 6 per cent to 55,309 compared to 58,634 in October 2010. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in October 2011 decreased by 10 per cent to 525 from 582 in October 2010.

Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agent Marsh & Parsons, comments:

“Stagnant house prices in December and falling transactions capped a fairly dismal year for the national housing market. Economic uncertainty and fears over job losses have reined in home moves in many parts of the country, and undermined prices outside London. But there are indications to suggest that 2012 may be more encouraging for buyers. Mortgage lending has been steadily improving as lenders learn to operate in a more constrained financial environment, and for those with deposits, rates are actually cheaper than a year ago in many cases. With the stamp duty holiday set to expire in less than two months, activity should pick up in the short-term as determined first-time buyers hurry to complete.” 
 
“While London hasn’t been totally immune from the difficulties facing the wider economy, would-be buyers have a greater confidence in the direction of the market. Strong interest from international investors and domestic cash buyers, combined with a limited supply of prime property, has helped property in the capital defy the national trend of house price falls. While the underlying lack of properties coming onto the market may stop activity in the capital from rocketing up, the appetite we’ve seen from buyers in January bodes well for vendors in the coming year. For instance, when the sale of a property in Fulham fell through during the festive period, it received 20 viewings and 7 separate offers in the following ten days – before selling for £20,000 above its agreed asking price. With such competition for homes in the capital, there’s no reason why price rises will judder to a halt any time soon.” 

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