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House prices rise 8.4% since June 2009

House prices have increased 8.4 per cent since last June, according to the latest house price index from the Land Registry.

This is the eighth month in which the annual figure has been positive and takes the average property value in England and Wales to £166,072.

All regions in England and Wales experienced increases in their average property values in the past 12 months. London experienced the greatest increase with house prices rising 12.2 per cent over the past 12 months. At the other end, the North East experienced the lowest increase, with prices rising only 0.7 per cent on an annual basis.

House prices remained stable in June, rising only 0.1 per cent since May.

Wales experienced the greatest monthly rise in house prices with a movement of 2.9 per cent. The North East suffered the largest fall, with prices dropping 1.3 per cent between May and June.

The most up-to-date figures show that during April the number of completed house sales in England and Wales rose by 26 per cent to 49,323 from 39,280 in April 2009.

Commenting on the data, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “The data suggests house prices on completed sales in England and Wales edged up a further 0.1 per cent in June. As a result, house prices on this measure are just 9.5 per cent away from their previous high, recorded in November 2007. The strongest monthly gain in June was in Wales but London continues to post the highest year-on-year increase – 12.2 per cent. The Welsh data is not only out of line with recent Land Registry figures, from the country, but also with the results of the RICS Housing Survey – which show a much more subdued picture – making us question the sustainability of this rise in prices. More generally, most RICS indicators suggest that prices across England and Wales could slip back a little during the second half of the year. London may be the exception to this.

“The more worrying element of the Land Registry data is the continuing weakness in transaction activity. While the latest numbers only refer to April, they show completed sales in England and Wales at less than 50,000. Moreover, subsequent figures on mortgage approvals suggest that this number is unlikely to pick-up anytime soon. With the average number of monthly transactions prior to onset of the credit crunch roughly double this figure, it is clear mobility has been impacted and many people who wish to take their first step on the property ladder or move home have been unable to do so.”

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