27th February 2015
The property gaps has widened to £350,000 in some regions across England and Wales, according to figures from the Land Registry.
The difference between the most expensive and the cheapest properties based on regional averages is now £350,000, with the average London property standing at £458,283 compared to £97,974 in the North East.
Despite this divide the annual rate of house price increases has slowed to 6.7% from a peak of 8.2% in August, but prices across England and Wales still inched up 1.3% last month, compared with December.
The latest monthly rise has not, unlike the rest of the house price growth, been driven by London. In fact, prices in the capital dropped 0.2% – the first time London has started a year with a fall since January 2009 when they dropped 1.5% in the wake of the crisis.
Within the capital, the wealthy borough of Kensington and Chelsea saw large falls of 1.9% in January and is the only borough to record single-digit growth over the year. The average property in this exclusive area sells for almost £1.3 million but with stamp duty targeting million-plus homes, appetite could be waning.
The North West saw the largest increase in January, up 2.6% and prices in the South West were up 1.5%.
The largest annual house price growth was recorded in Thurrock, Essex, where the cost of a home increased 16%.
Guy Meacock, head of the London office for estate agents Prime Purchase, said: ‘After five years of strong house price growth, there is plenty of uncertainty, with the forthcoming general election, possible mansion tax and an interest rate rise next year – all of these mean that the next six months is likely to be an improving market for buyers.’