London leads in house price rises

Image caption, First-time buyers still face having to pay high deposits

All regions of England and Wales have seen a year-on-year increase in house prices, according to the Land Registry.

But the average property value dropped by 0.6% in March compared with February to £164,288, its figures show.

London showed the biggest annual and monthly rise in prices in March, with the lowest annual rise in prices seen in Wales.

The data also shows that the number of completed house sales picked up at the start of 2010, up 30% on a year before.

The Land Registry data is widely regarded as the most authoritative of the house price surveys, although it only covers England and Wales.

Annual change

The year-on-year rise in house prices reached 7.5% on average in England and Wales in March, the fifth consecutive month of increases.

The price of a typical home in London is now £336,409, following a 13% annual rise in prices.

At the other end of the scale, Wales saw a 1.1% rise in prices year-on-year, with the average home priced at £122,496.

The biggest fall in prices between February and March was in the East Midlands, a drop of 2.1%, where the average home cost £126,106 in March.

The price of detached homes has risen the most in the year to March - up 10.5% to an average of £258,928, the Land Registry figures show.

Flats and maisonettes rose in price by 9.1%, to an average of £153,314. Semi-detached homes were up 8.1%, to an average of £155,738, and terraced homes were up 4.5% to an average of £125,074.

"Housing market activity appears to have lost some momentum overall so far in 2010. The economic fundamentals are still far from robust for the housing market, credit conditions are still pretty tight, and house price/earnings ratios have moved back up," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight.

"Consequently, we believe that house prices are likely to be erratic over the coming months and may well be only flat overall through the rest of the year."

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