Category Archives: Market Trends

House Prices Rise Over 5% In A Year

In the 12 months to October, UK house prices increased by 5.5%, the ONS has claimed, and rose 1.4% between September and October.

The year-on-year increase reflected growth of 5.7% in England, 2% in Wales, 3.3% in Scotland and 4.8% in Northern Ireland, said the ONS, with prices in London increasing 12%.

Excluding London and the south-east, UK house prices increased by 3.1% in the 12 months to October 2013.

According to the ONS, house prices in October stood at £257,000 in England, £164,000 in Wales, £129,000 in Northern Ireland and £184,000 in Scotland.

The average London house price was £437,000 while the north-east had the lowest average price at £148,000.

As usual, the ONS prices are a statistical leap away from the Land Registry prices for England and Wales.

The Land Registry says that the average house price in October was £165,515 – 0.2% less than the month before (compared with the ONS’s growth of 1.4%) and 3.1% ahead of October 2012.

Reposessions Fall But North-South Divide Widens

There has been a sharp fall in the number of repossessions, but the north-south divide has widened to its largest in six years.

There are 33% more repossessions in the north than in the south, according to detailed research released by e.surv chartered surveyors.

In the north, 72% of towns have higher than average repossessions, but repossession rates are rising quickly in parts of the south-west, south-east and London.

The analysis of court-ordered repossessions in the year to Q2 2013, broken down by postcode, found there were 3.2 repossessions per 1,000 households in the north, a third more than in the south where there are 2.4 repossessions per 1,000 households.

This is the largest gap since the onset of the financial crisis. In the year to Q2 2007, there were 14% more repossessions in the north than in the south, a figure which has been steadily rising.

In total, repossessions fell 17% in the year to July, with 66,544 repossession orders in 2012-13 as opposed to 77,856 in 2011-12. The average rate of orders per 1,000 households fell from 3.3 to 2.8.

A director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “On a national level, repossessions are falling, as the economy slowly crawls back to health. Mortgages are becoming cheaper, wages are slowly picking up, and the labour market is showing more vitality.

“But the recovery has been more pronounced in the south, driven forward by booming property and labour markets in the capital and home counties.

“This has been slow to filter through to the north, where seven out of ten northern towns are repossession hot-spots.”

He added: “There is still a long way to go before the northern property market returns to its pre-recession health, and all the while the north is still playing catch-up, and falling further and further behind the south.”

Chester had the highest rate of repossessions at 8.4 per 1,000 in the year to July. Blackpool, Oldham and Wigan were also among the five worst UK towns for repossessions, with 4.5, 4.3 and 4.2 repossessions per 1,000 households respectively.

Romford, Luton and Croydon also had some of the highest repossession figures at 4.4, 4.2 and 4.1 per 1,000 households respectively.


House Sales And Mortgage Approvals Both Increase

There were almost 90,000 UK residential property transactions in August, HMRC has reported.

The “seasonally adjusted” provisional figure – an estimate of 89,460 – was just 0.4% up on July, but 19.2% up on August last year.

The number of non-seasonally adjusted transactions was just over 100,000 and the highest since December 2009.

HMRC’s transaction figures bear little relation to the transaction data published by the Land Registry for England and Wales, although the Land Registry’s latest figures only go to May, when it says there were 62,651 transactions.

Another set of housing data was also published yesterday by high street banks. The British Bankers Association says that in August, banks issued 38,228 approvals for house purchase, up from the 37,428 in July, and from the 34,610 of August last year.

Parking Space Costs More Than A Home

A London estate agent has been instructed on a leasehold car parking space that costs more than a flat they sold last week.

The parking space, in Hyde Park Gardens, is on the market, complete with a 91-year lease and a price tag of £300,000.

Only last week the same firm sold a studio flat about half a mile away for £299,950 – £50 cheaper!

The agent said: “Parking in this part of prime central London is always scarce and the fact that people will pay more than the price of a small flat for the privilege of their own parking space is indicative of the desirability of having parking in Westminster.”