Land Registry reports 0.8% fall in October house prices

| November 26, 2010
Land Registry reports 0.8% fall in October house prices

According to the Land Registry, house prices fell by 0.8% in October compared with September, putting the average cost of a home at £165,505 in England and Wales.

It must be noted that the Land Registry compiles its data from completed transactions and therefore lags behind other monitors of the housing market but is generally regarded as the most authoritative.

According to the Registry, house prices are now just 3.5% higher than a year ago with this figure falling for the last five months.

Commenting on the figures, Paul Diggle, property economist at Capital Economics, said: “The second consecutive monthly drop in the Land Registry measure of house prices is further evidence that the devaluation is becoming more embedded.”

In related news, yesterday HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed a slump in the number of homes sold in October in the UK.

According to HMRC, 79,000 homes worth at least £40,000 or more were sold in the month, a fall of 11% on an annual basis.

While it was 1,000 higher from September’s figure, it is evident that the housing market is in the midst of a slowdown.

The ongoing lack of mortgage availability and economic uncertainty continues to put pressure on the housing market.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) recently revealed a further fall in the number of new mortgages approved by the major banks in October.

According to the BBA, the number of new mortgages approved in the month fell to 30,766, down from 31,058 in September – representing the lowest level since March 2009 – when the country was in the midst of its worst recession in decades.

The figures confounded analysts expectations of a rise to 31,300 and continue to suggest that the mortgage market will remain subdued over the coming months.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Bank of England have both reported falls in mortgage lending over recent months.

Meanwhile, house prices are expected to continue to come under pressure as new instructions continue to outstrip buyer demand.

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