House prices decline by 0.3 per cent


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The Independent Online

House prices saw a 0.3% decline in August, leaving the sale price of the typical home at just over £162,000, the Land Registry said today.

The figures, which cover transactions in England and Wales, represent a reversal on the 1.3% increase in values between June and July.

The West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East, the South East, the North West and the South West all experienced falls in August, while Wales was hardest hit with a 1.7% drop.

House prices in Wales are now down by 5.5% on a year ago, with the average home valued at £117,534.

The latest House Price Index across England and Wales showed an annual decrease of 2.6%, taking the average property value down to £162,347.

Prices in the East, the East Midlands and London all rose between July and August. The East saw the biggest monthly increase, with average prices at £175,079 in August thanks to a jump of 0.8%.

The only region in England and Wales to see a rise over the last 12 months was London, where homes have gone up by 2.1%.

The measure of house prices is seen as being particularly volatile at present because transactions are below pre-recession levels.

The latest figures show that over the year to June, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales went down by 13% to 54,776.

Fewer luxury homes are being snapped up, with the number of properties sold in England and Wales for more than £1 million down by 28% over the year to June 2011, to 465.

Lucy Pendleton, of James Pendleton estate agents, said the figures highlighted the gulf between London and other areas.

She added: "The gulf between London and the rest of the country is becoming more acute, with the average home in the capital now costing 2.15 times as much as the average in England and Wales.

"In other areas of the UK, most notably the North East, prices remain under real pressure."