29th January 2016
The festive slowdown didn’t affect the property market in December, with annual prices shooting up 6.4% on average.
Data from the Land Registry shows the average property in England and Wales increased in price to £188,270. Property was up 1.2% between November and December 2015.
Property price increases were not shared evenly, with London homes up 12.4% on average in 2015. The North East saw the lowest annual price growth at 0.8% and house prices in Wales went backwards 0.8% over the year.
However, activity in the housing market fell, with the number of completed house sales down 8% in the year at 79,960 in October 2015.
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said there was ‘no glimpse of a slowdown in market activity despite the festive period’.
‘However, this growth has not been spread evenly across the country. House prices in London have increased by more than 10% over the year, shooting up to an average of half a million pounds. In contrast, regions like the North East have seen sluggish growth of less than 1%,’ he said.
‘Homeowners in regions with lacklustre price growth will have less to cheer about than those watching the value of their property soar. However, rising prices can be an obstacle for would-be buyers struggling to keep pace as prices sprint ahead.’
Murphy said first-time buyers in the capital have ‘an especially tough market to battle with’ and the London Help to Buy scheme ‘is a sorely needed initiative, but presents a temporary solution to a long-term problem’.
‘Insufficient property supply will continue to drive up higher prices if not properly addressed,’ he said.