House prices up, sales down

HOUSE PRICES have risen this year even though the number of sales has fallen, according to the latest quarterly survey by the Land Registry.

Figures show that average property prices in England and Wales rose 8.94 per cent while sales were down 8.52 per cent.

During the past quarter this rise has been less pronounced, although activity in the housing market increased on the previous three months' figures.

Over the three months to September, prices rose by 4.37 per cent while sales rose by 8.38 per cent.

This fits in with reports from the Halifax and the Nationwide Building Society that while the sector remains fundamentally sound, a downturn in economic conditions has slowed the housing market.

Flats and maisonettes showed the biggest price rises over the past quarter - the average property of this type cost pounds 81,048 compared with pounds 72,803 three months earlier.

The average semi-detached house now costs pounds 75,475, an increase of 8.1 per cent over the past quarter.

Detached houses are still considerably more expensive. Homeowners looking to buy a detached property can expect to part with pounds 132,032, nearly 10 per cent more than they would have had to find three months ago.

There was a significant difference in property inflation throughout the country. Homeowners in London and the South East were paying about 11 per cent more than they did a year ago, although prices on average increased by just 1 per cent in the North over this period.

But the sudden boom in London last year is now being felt in other parts of the country. Over the past three months there has been less difference in property inflation throughout the country.

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