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House Price Rises

House Price Rises

Making sense of reports of rising house prices across the UK is not easy reports Andrew Oulsnam of Robert Oulsnam and Company. The recent figures from Nationwide suggest that house prices have risen 11.1 per cent in the last year in the UK, but scratch behind the surface of this figure and you will find that it hides a much more complicated and confusing picture.

Average figures for the whole of the UK are grossly distorted when the numbers for London and the South-East are included. London is experiencing the fastest rate of house price rises for 11 years. In some areas of London there have been reported rises over the past 12 months of up to 25 per cent. When such figures are considered alongside those for the North-East, where the Land Registry calculates that prices have risen at 0.9 per cent, then the degree of imbalance in the average figures is clear.

Add to this the problem of conflicting figures emerging from different official bodies and finding an accurate measure of house price rises becomes even trickier. The UK has two official bodies that provide information on house prices – the Land Registry, who provide the House Price Index, and the Office for National Statistics. Their figures for the year up to April this year are far from agreeing with one another.

The Land Registry has house prices in England and Wales rising 6.7 per cent, contrary to the figure of 9.9 per cent offered by the ONS for the whole of the UK. Both bodies place London rises at around 18 per cent, with the average price in the city now £485,000 according to the ONS, and £439,035 in the Land Registry figures. Their calculations of the average house price for the whole of the UK are also far apart – the ONS puts the figure at £260,000, opposed to the Land Registry figure of £172,035.

Our own evidence, collated from the data gathered at our 12 offices provides a more detailed picture of price rises by price band. Our data reveals the following trends:

• In the price band up to £200,000 there have been rises of between 8 and 15 per cent, depending on not only location, but also the age and type of property. Victorian terraces and older cottages have proved to be the most desirable properties and have seen the steepest price rises.

• In properties valued at over £200,000 the prices rises have been significantly less. In the price bracket between £200,000 and £300,000 the rise has been between 5 and 10 per cent, and between £300,000 and £400,000 the rise of price inflation has been between 5 and 8 per cent.

• Our evidence also shows there has been little or no price rise on properties of over £400,000 and very few transactions involving houses valued at over £500,000.

• Partner Andrew Oulsnam commented with so much attention given to price increases in the last year and the very big increases in London there is just too much hype, people are loosing sight of the fact prices are not much more now than they were in 2007.

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