New survey shows only London escapes falling house prices

House Prices

The latest house price survey by the Land Registry has shown that prices have fallen in every region of England and Wales, except London, over the past year.

According to the Land Registry the average price of a home in England and Wales is now £163,049, up by 1.3% in the month of July, but still down by 2.1% on this time last year.

The Land Registry said: “This is the largest monthly movement since January 2010.”

Regional Trends

As always the figures show house prices moving in different directions depending on location. For example house prices in the North East of England showed the largest fall with a drop of 8.8% in the year to July, in contrast prices in London actually rose by 1.3% over the same period.

The average cost of a home in the North East is now £101,143, significantly lower than the national average, with the average price in the region actually falling last month despite the national average increasing.

Region Monthly Annual
South West 2.2% rise 1.9% fall
London 1.9% rise 1.3% rise
West Midlands 1.6% rise 1.8% fall
Yorkshire & Humber 1.4% rise 4.5% fall
North West 1.2% rise 3.3% fall
East Midlands 1.2% rise 3.2% fall
South East 0.9% rise 1.1% fall
Wales 0.9% rise 3.4% fall
East 0.6% rise 2.3% fall
North East 2.3% fall 8.8% fall

It would seem that London is weathering the house price storm relatively well, with other regions being affected to a greater degree. The table to the right shows just how house prices moved in each region last month and compared to this time last year.

Housing market still difficult

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) released figures last week which showed that 827,000 borrowers in the UK were in negative equity, where the value of their home is below the level of the mortgage outstanding.

The issue of negative equity, along with continued tight lending criteria and general nervousness about the economy and job security seem to be having a negative effect on the housing market, despite the impact of low interest rates.

Peter Rollings, chief executive of estate agent Marsh & Parsons, said: “The real indicator of the health of the housing market is the number of sales actually taking place, and this makes for gloomier reading when compared to last year, with transactions down over 10%.

“Securing a mortgage is still the main obstacle preventing first-time buyers getting on the property ladder. Until this situation improves, we will not see a concerted improvement in transactions and house prices outside London.”

Despite the year on year fall in house prices, a report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research released last week forecast that house prices would rise to all time highs by 2015 due to an ongoing lack of supply.