Business

Regional split in house prices, says Land Registry

Homes
Image caption The housing market has been relatively stagnant in recent times

House prices have continued to drop sharply in some regions of England and Wales - but still rose in London, a survey says.

The Land Registry data offers evidence of the varying nature of the market in different areas of the country.

In London, prices rose by 0.3% in September compared with August, and were up 2.7% compared with a year ago.

Yet the North East of England witnessed a 3.9% drop in month-on-month prices, and an 8.2% fall in annual values.

On average in England and Wales, prices were down 0.3% in September compared with the previous month, the Land Registry said, and fell by 2.6% year-on-year.

That left the average home valued at £162,109, it said.

In the last year, prices of terraced homes have fallen the sharpest, the Land Registry's survey said.

'Realistic'

The average price of a property ranges vastly, from £100,616 in the North East to £349,026 in London, the data shows.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said in its monthly report on the state of the market that the number of potential buyers had reached its highest average level for four years.

It said the number of people registering to look for homes per branch, rather than actual buyers, rose from 304 in August to 308 in September.

"It is encouraging to see that the number of enquiries is increasing," said Wendy Evans-Scott, president of the NAEA.

"But sellers need to be very realistic when pricing their property, in order to secure a sale in what is still a very cautious market."

'On the shelf'

Peter Maskell, director of the Sussex-based estate agents Brock Taylor, said that that the housing market was split between those who must sell and the rest.

"While the number of new instructions is tailing off, many of those putting their houses on the market now are pricing aggressively," he said.

"Many will be motivated by death, divorce or debt in the family. Their desire for a quick sale will often force them to set prices low.

"Sellers who put a property on the market a while ago and who still hope for a better price are seeing them stay on the shelf much longer - sometimes for many months.

"So many estate agents are finding that they have stock hanging around their books for long periods. And without an impetus from the market, many will be stuck with these unsold homes for a while yet."

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