Property values fell in January

House Prices

The housing market has seen a sluggish start to 2011 property prices.

Semi-detached, terraced and detached homes fell in price at the start of the year.

House prices on all varieties of homes in England and Wales fell in January from the figures recorded during the same period in 2010, according to the Land Registry figures.

Property values dropped by 0.9% compared with a year earlier but rose 0.2% compared with December’s statistics.

Semi-detached homes experienced the largest decline, dropping by 1.6% year-on-year to an average of £153,663. The survey also found that the price of detached homes and terraced homes had fallen by 0.2% and 0.8% respectively. The value of maisonettes fell by 1.3%.

The data went on to highlight that a geographical divide exists between the range of house prices recorded in different UK regions.

London property prices increased by 1.6% compared with December bringing the average value of a home in the capital up to £341,871. Areas in the East of England also witnessed a rise of 0.2% in January when compared with 12 months earlier – the average house price in the region now stands at £174,550.

However, the price of Welsh homes fell by 4.2%, leaving the average value of a home in the area at £116,217.

Experts have warned that the difficulties that first time buyers are facing in purchasing a house is one of the reasons for the falling prices. Many banks are still enforcing stringent mortgage eligibility criteria where mortgage applicants need at least a 10 – 15% deposit in order to secure a home loan.

The lack of buyers has resulted in a fall in property prices as sellers attempt to make their home appear more attractive to the dwindling pool of consumers who have managed to arrange a mortgage.