Where is this going? House prices rise as sales volumes drop
House prices are continuing their inexorable rise upwards across England and Wales while the number of transactions is down, the Land Registry has reported.
Meanwhile, this morning Nationwide reported that house prices across the UK went up 0.6% this month, and now stand at an average of £196,807.
According to the Land Registry, in July – the latest month for which transaction data is available – there were 81,696 sales, compared with 84,691 in July 2014.
July’s figure was, however, the highest of the year so far – just as July’s sales figures were the highest for that point of the year in 2014.
However, more tellingly, sales have been down every single month of this year compared with the corresponding month of last year.
The biggest falls were in January and May, of 10%.
If the trend continues, there will be fewer overall transactions this year than last. The Land Registry says there were 914,909 sales in 2014.
While transactions dropped 4% across England and Wales on an annual basis, in London, transactions were down 10%.
The number of sales at under £250,000 dwindled by almost half, as prices rose, while sales of homes over £1m also fell hard in the wake of Stamp Duty reforms.
Sales of properties between £1m and £1.5m slipped 7%; between £1.5m and £2m, fell 23%; and over £2m, fell 26%.
In only one region – the north-east – are prices down annually, by 0.3%. It was also the only region where prices fell monthly, down 0.3% between August and September, to stand at £99,559.
The average price across the whole of England and Wales in September was £186,553, up 5.3% annually and 1% on the month.
The region with the biggest growth both monthly and annually was London (up 1.8% and 9.6% respectively).
The average house price in London is now just a whisker under half a million at £499,997.
The most expensive sale lodged at the Land Registry in September was in Knightsbridge, London, at £17.5m. The cheapest was in Pendle, Lancashire, at £12,000.