London house prices race ahead of the rest

estate agent erects sign
Image caption Average prices in Kensington and Chelsea are now £1.1m

The contrast between rising house prices in London and falling prices elsewhere continues to grow.

The Land Registry said that house prices in London are at a new high, while prices across the north of England continue to fall.

The average selling price of a London property has now reached a record £374,568.

Prices in the capital soared by 9.4% in the past year, the sharpest increase for nearly three years.

In England and Wales as a whole, prices rose 0.9%, an increase driven by the London market.

The average price of a property in Kensington and Chelsea is now £1.1m.

Houses or flats in the capital cost more than double property elsewhere, where the average price is £161,793.

Jonathan Hopper, of the property search company Garrington, called it "an extraordinary rate not seen since the heady pre-crash days".

"The danger of overheating should not be dismissed," he warned.

In the doldrums

At the same time, property-owners in much of the north of England continue to see the value of their home decline.

In Yorkshire and Humber, prices fell by 0.8% over the last year.

In the East Midlands, prices fell by 0.7%.

But the biggest price falls were in the North West (-4.9%) and the North East of England (-5.5%).

The number of properties being sold has also fallen, suggesting the housing market as a whole remains in the doldrums.

Between October 2011 and January 2012 an average of 56,445 properties were being sold a month, compared with 54,810 a month in the same period a year later.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites