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London is only region to see property prices rise in last 12 months, data shows

Its flagship May index reveals that the average house price in England and Wales is now £161,823, that represents an annual price decrease of 2.2%. The only region in England and Wales to experience an increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 2.9%.

The East Midlands experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 0.4%. The North East again experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of 6.9%. Wales is the region which experienced the most significant monthly price fall with a fall of 3.5%.

The most up to date figures available show that during March 2011, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 13% to 44,803 from 51,399 in March 2010. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million increased by 58% between March 2010 and March 2011, from 511 to 805.

Meanwhile, the central London housing market is set to maintain current high activity levels throughout the summer, rather than follow the traditional pattern of a quiet July and August, according to property consultancy Cluttons.
Its London View: Summer 2011 report says that strong demand has driven average central London house values over £1.6 million for the first time since the third quarter of 2008. Buyer demand remains close to record highs, while stock levels are currently over 50% lower than the same period in 2010.
This strong demand looks set to fuel the market over the summer, traditionally a very quiet period for the housing market, with buyers continuing their search over the holidays in fear of missing out on a suitable property.
The late Easter holiday this year has also meant that many house hunters who only returned from Easter breaks in May have delayed their summer holiday until the latter part of August, and will continue to house hunt through the summer.

‘There is so much pent up demand in the market that competition for good property is as fierce as ever. Buyers are telling us they are wary of postponing their search over the holidays in case they miss out and will instead continue to actively look throughout July and most of August,’ said James Hyman, partner for residential sales.

‘Domestic buyers also face growing competition from Middle Eastern buyers who have overcome complications in liquidising their assets since the unrest in the Middle East began, and are now actively securing their funds in the Central London property market,’ he added.