Property prices in England and Wales up for ninth month in a row

Property prices in England and Wales increased by 0.4% in September, the ninth month in a row when values have grown, taking the average price to £284,742, the latest index shows.

Year on year prices increased by 4.2% and overall average house prices across England and Wales have risen £11,500 in the last year, after 42 months of annual growth, the LSL index also shows.

The London housing market moved upwards after a period of decline with its biggest monthly price rise since June 2014 at xxx and the South Est saw the strongest year on year rise of any region.

The growth is primarily being underpinned by sturdy demand and solid activity at the bottom of the property ladder, according to Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors.

‘The most frequently paid property price across England and Wales is just £125,000, mirroring the level at which stamp duty becomes payable, and reflecting the impetus that has been injected in the first-time buyer market recently,’ he said.

‘It is also the lower to mid-range properties priced between £180,000 and £360,000 which are seeing the fastest increases in value, while the shift in stamp duty bands continues to slow growth at the higher end of the market, and prices above £600,000 are largely stationary,’ he explained.

He also pointed out that a price surge in London in September has halted its stalled market. ‘As in the rest of the country, it’s the more affordably priced London boroughs which are behind this renaissance, as the strengthening of sterling, rising stamp duty rates and moves against non-doms take their toll on the high end market,’ he said.

The index shows that the 10 London boroughs with the lowest average house prices all set new record highs in August, and it is Barking and Dagenham, at the very bottom of the price rankings, that recorded the fastest year on year increase in property values at 15.7%.
‘While London is once again leading the pack in terms of monthly price growth, the South East region has soared two places in the rankings to top the charts with the highest annual increase in property values. Average house prices in the South East have grown 5.8% over the past twelve months,’ said Sexton.

‘Combined, these two regions are now having a much greater influence on national measures of price growth. Compared to July, when they were only pushing up the overall annual change by 0.1%, this has grown to 0.7%. As house price growth becomes more southern-centric again, the London commuter belt is spurring some of the fastest rates of change with Luton witnessing the steepest price rise compared to last year, jumping 14.9%,’ he added.

Sexton also pointed that it has been the strongest September for home sales since 2007.  Monthly sales totalled 84,000, an increase of 3% from August, and making September only the second month this year in which sales have overtaken 2014 levels.

Meanwhile, the regional spread of home sales shows a north/south divide with cheaper northern regions experiencing the fastest growth in property sales, while a shortage of property stock on the market in the south is slowing activity.

In the three months to August 2015, the North and North West of England saw the biggest year on year increase in property sales, while East Anglia, London and the South East saw the most significant annual falls.