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All regions of England and Wales see prices grow year on year

Average house prices in England and Wales increased to £302,251 and all regions recorded annual growth, the latest housing index shows.

While growth in the 12 months to July was 1.6%, month on month prices fell by 0.2%, the fifth month in a row that values have fallen, according to the data from LSL Property Services.

The index report says that flat prices are largely down to slower activity. In July, there was an estimated 75,000 transactions, some 2% down on June and 6% lower than the seasonal trend. Transactions in the first seven months of 2018 are estimated to be 4% below the same period in 2017.

But there are still regional variations with price growth ranging from 3.3% in the West Midlands to 0.5% in the South East and East of England, however, the range is narrower than at almost any time since the LSL records began in 2000.

On a more local level, there was growth of 10.9% in Monmouthshire, a rise of 6.3% in Warwickshire and 4.8% in Herefordshire. Leicester recorded annual price growth of 4.8% and prices rose by 4.6% in Bournemouth.

While the South East set a new peak price with growth of 11.5%, the highest annual increase of any area, the index report points out that this was largely due to a £9 million sale near Newbury and performance in the region as a whole is weak, up just 0.5% annually.

The figures also show that the average price of a property in London now stands at £625,529 with prices falling in almost two thirds of the city’s boroughs on an annual basis. The biggest drops on an annual basis have been seen in the City of London, down 19.4%, albeit on a small number of transactions.

In Hammersmith and Fulham, and Southwark, prices were down by 11.7% in both boroughs while in Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham, sales of new builds in previous months or years can explain much of the swing in prices, according to the index.

Overall, the most expensive borough remains Kensington and Chelsea, where prices were down modestly by 1.9% on an annual basis to £1,765,033, while the cheapest borough is still Barking and Dagenham with an average price of 308,547, up 1.8% annually.

London also saw the number of sales in the second quarter fall by 7% on last year, and it remains a mixed picture.