Land Registry confirms London house prices have soared 7% in a year

Property values in London and the south east have soared over the past 12 months, contrasting those in the rest of the country.

Land Registry figures revealed that prices grew by 7 per cent year-on-year in London but dropped by almost 6 per cent in the North East.

Overall, house prices across England and Wales edged down by 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis in October but were up by 1.1 per cent year-on-year – representing the strongest annual growth in almost two years. This is because the September to October fall this year was less severe than for the same period last year.

The average price of property in London is £364,574 – more than double the average of £161,605 across England and Wales.

The ‘safe haven’ status of London has attracted strong interest from overseas buyers. The latest figures also showed that sales of homes in London worth between more than £1.5million and £2million were up by a fifth in August compared with a year earlier.

After London, the East was the region with the second highest annual growth, with prices rising by 2.2 per cent year-on-year to reach £175,821, followed by the south-east where prices rose by 1.4 per cent.

In contrast the North East recorded both the biggest annual and monthly price fall in October, as prices in the region dropped by 4.2 per cent month-on-month and 5.8 per cent year-on-year to reach £96,061.

Figures released by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) last week suggest that housing market activity has recently increased.

In a sign of what is to come, the BBA’s figures showed that mortgage approvals to buy a house rose to their highest number in October since the start of the year.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said of the mortgage market: ‘We are slowly seeing more options at higher LTVs (loans-to-value).

‘We expect this to take off next year with an uptick in the number of high LTV mortgages available at more competitive rates. This will help boost the number of first-time buyers able to get on the property ladder, which will help the overall general health of the housing market.’

Richard Gordon of UKPI said: “London and the south have been the driving force in the UK property market over the past year. Without London and the south east performing they way they have, the figures across the country as a whole would look far more bleak.

“There is a great deal of confidence in London real estate right now, with the UK and London in particular being seen as a safe haven by international investors.

“With the rental market also looking so strong, inward investment into the UK will increase further next year as people continue to hedge against further currency shocks.”

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