Average price of a home hits £100,000

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The Independent Online

The average price of a home has risen above £100,000 for the first time this year, according to government figures on the market published today. The cost rose by 14.5 per cent to £103,115 in the three months to June from £90,068 a year ago, the Land Registry reports.

The average price of a home has risen above £100,000 for the first time this year, according to government figures on the market published today. The cost rose by 14.5 per cent to £103,115 in the three months to June from £90,068 a year ago, the Land Registry reports.

At the last survey, in March, the average price was £99,295. The growth was driven by the powerhouse of London and south-east England, where prices rose by nearly onequarter and one-fifth respectively. A house in Greater London now costs on average £177,182, almost three times the price of its equivalent in the North of England, the cheapest area at £61,798. The only regions to breach the £100,000 barrier were the South-east, with £128,719, and the South-west, with an average price of £101,750.

Although all regions of England and Wales grew faster than inflation, price rises were much weaker in the North and the Midlands. The North of England rose by 5.1 per cent, the North-west by 7.6 per cent and the East Midlands and Yorkshire by 9.7 per cent.

The breakdown of prices showed pockets of wealth alongside areas with no growth.

The east London borough of Newham, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the capital, had record growth of 37 per cent, while neighbouring Barking and Dagenham saw growth of 18 per cent.

Wrexham, in north Wales, suffered a 4 per cent fall to £60,434, while nearby Cheshire rose 10.2 per cent to £84,146.

The pattern backs up a recent study by the London estate agent FPD Savills, which identified property "hot" and "cold" spots as close as 100 yards from each other.

The contrast is starker when houses costing more than £1m are included. On that basis, prices in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea surged by 81 per cent to reach £553,782.

Since the report, which covers the three months to June, was compiled, a number of surveys from mortgage lenders have highlighted a fall in prices, especially in south-eastern England. Halifax's most recent survey showed a 2.5 per cent fall in prices in London.

Some people in the industry feel that the recent publicity over a slowing housing market in the South-east has distorted the market for the rest of the country.

John White, chief executive of the housebuilder Persimmon, said: "Undoubtedly there has been a slowing, if not a levelling out, particularly in the South-east but things outside the South-east have not been too different. There's still a desire for people to improve their lot, and a shortage of supply. I can't see how prices can't continue to go up steadily."

The recent slowdown has been attributed to four rises in the cost of borrowing, the abolition of mortgage tax relief and higher rates of stamp duty on house transactions.

But these appeared to have had little impact on the top end of the market. The number of homes changing hands for in excess of £1.25m more than doubled to 281 in the three months to June compared with 118 a year ago.

Figures to be released by the Bank of England later today are expected to confirm that the market continues to experience a slowdown. Analysts will look for a further fall in the total value of new mortgage commitments - a sign of future housing demand - after a 2.4 per cent decline over the past six months.

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