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Boom time for prime property in UK, data shows

Prime prices, that is the top 25% of the market by value, increased to an average of £463,153 in May from £457,040 in April, the third consecutive monthly increase, according to the PrimeLocation index.
Prime prices are now 1.4% higher than the same time last year and the highest since the index began in December 2007.

Back in May 2008, in the middle of the housing downturn, the average prime property was on sale for £410,022 which means that the prime market has seen prices grow by 13%, or over £53,000, in the past three years. In comparison the mass market has seen prices fall by 0.2% over the same three year period.

In the past month every region of the UK saw prime prices increase, except for London where they dipped very slightly by 0.1%. The strongest monthly growth was in Scotland, up 2.4% and the North East was up 2.3%, while the fastest annual growth was in the North West where it was 8.5%, Yorkshire and Humberside at 6.1% and Wales at 4.6%.

The average prime property price in Scotland is now £392,249, its £322,607 in the North East of England, £574,926 in the South East of England, £451,959 in the East of England, £480, 828 in the South West of England and £361,638 in the East Midlands.

In North West England it is £342,474, it is £347,185 in Wales, £381,904 in the West Midlands, £357,822 in Yorkshire and the Humber and £1,148,878 in London.

‘The figures speak for themselves. In the past three years, for all the talk of difficulties in the housing market and the wider economy, the top end of the market has boomed while the rest of the market has seen prices stagnate or fall,’ said Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation.

‘Wealthier people with larger homes are still able to move up the property ladder because it’s easier for them obtain mortgages. So demand is intense in this part of the market but, on the other hand, supply remains low and has done for some time. It’s difficult for people in the prime market to find the house they want at the moment and so prices have been rising as people bid higher and higher,’ he explained.

Meanwhile prime platinum properties, the top 10% by value, have seen prices increase by 1.5% in May, rising to £642,052 from £632,407 in April. This is also the third consecutive monthly increase.