Land Registry reports 0.3% fall in August house prices

| September 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

According to the Land Registry, house prices fell by 0.3% in August after a 1.3% rise in July.

The latest fall takes the average cost of a home to £162,347 in England and Wales.

On an annual basis, meanwhile, the Registry said prices are 2.6% lower.

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.

In comparison, the Halifax said house prices fell by 1.2% in August on a monthly basis, while the Nationwide said house prices fell by 0.6% in August.

Meanwhile, according to the Land Registry, the only region in England and Wales to see an increase in its average property value over the last year is London, where house prices are now 2.1% higher than this time last year.

In stark contrast, prices have fallen by 7.8% in the North East of England and by 5.5% in Wales over the same time period.

However, property in London is attractive to buyers from overseas as a result of the cheap pound.

Meanwhile, in terms of future house prices, a recent report from leading think-tank National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), predicted UK house prices will fall by 4.5% in 2011, followed by an average 1.5% fall in each of the subsequent four years.

According to the think tank, this year’s decline will reflect the squeeze on household finances resulting from higher taxes and rising inflation, and the ongoing lack of mortgage availability.

In related news this week, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed a fall in the number of homes sold in August in the UK.

According to HMRC, 78,000 homes worth at least £40,000 or more were sold in the month – 6,000 less than the previous month and 3,000 lower than in August 2010.

However, August is traditionally regarded as a quieter month due to the holiday season.

At the height of the housing boom in July 2007, 151,000 homes were sold.

Today’s figures from the Land Registry, along with other recent reports, suggest the housing market will remain depressed throughout the remainder of the year.

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