Official figures show 1.7% rise in house prices

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Official figures show house prices in England and Wales rising by 1.7% in July, compared with June, marking the biggest monthly increase since July 2004.

According to Land Registry data all regions recorded a monthly rise in values, nudging the average cost of a home up to £155,885 (from £153,046 in June) and easing the annual rate of fall to 11.7%.

By property type, the annual decline stood as follows: detached -10.2%; semi-detached -11.3%; terraced -12.9%; flat/maisonette -12.7%.

In July, Wales saw the biggest improvement in prices with values up 3.1% from June, while in North East England average prices leapt 2.3%.

However, homeowners in the North East of England are also shouldering the biggest annual fall at 13.2% in July, with Yorkshire and Humber close behind at minus 12.8%.

The survey also reveals that in the months February 2009 to May 2009, transaction volumes averaged 35,848 per month, compared with 61,743 in the same period of 2008.

However, a pattern of “slightly increased transactions volumes is starting to emerge in both London and England and Wales as a whole”, the government body reported.

The Registry lags behind other market commentators because its data is extracted from completed transactions, rather than mortgage approvals.

However, by way of comparison, Nationwide’s latest house price index shows a 1.6% monthly gain for UK house prices in August, with values increasing for the fourth consecutive month.

The building society puts the average price of a property at £160,224, up from £158,871 in July, with the rise slowing the annual rate of decline to 2.7%, compared with 6.2% in July.

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