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Residential real estate prices in England and Wales have fallen overall for the year in 2011, according to the latest study. The Land Registry’s House Price Index indicates an annual price decrease of 1.9% in the region, and analysts blame tough lending restrictions that kept many first-time homebuyers out of the market. The only exception was London, which experienced an increase of 1.4% in property prices for the year. The good news is that lending did increase on average during the last three months of the year, and those who can manage to meet deposit requirements will find great property deals moving into 2012. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Average house prices in England and Wales were £160,780 in November as values increased by 0.3% on October, the newest figures published today (Friday 30 November) by the Land Registry show.

The November data from Land Registry's flagship House Price Index also shows an annual price decrease of 1.9%. They are regarded as the most reliable figures as they are taken from actual sales.

The only region in England and Wales to experience an increase in its average property value over the last 12 months was London with a rise of 1.4%. The North East saw the greatest annual price fall at 5.4%.

The North West experienced the greatest monthly rise with an increase of 1.4% while the East saw the most significant monthly price fall, down 0.6%.

The most up to date figures available show that during September 2011, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by 6% to 61,031 from 57,463 in September 2010. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in September 2011 increased by 1% to 729 from 720 in September 2010.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, owners of Your Move and Reeds Rains said the figures show that 2011 has been a tough year for the property market.

‘Mortgage lending has remained constrained and this has made it very hard for first time buyers with only limited deposits to get themselves onto the market and boost prices at the lower end,’ he explained.

‘But the second half of the year has provided some positives. Mortgage finance is currently highly affordable as lenders have dropped their rates in line with the Bank of England’s commitment to the ultra low interest rates policy. This means those who can put together a decent sized deposit are currently able to lock themselves into cheap deals and can obtain properties at relatively affordable prices. The next year will certainly bring its fair share of economic challenges, but buyers should remember there are currently plenty of excellent investment opportunities out there,’ he added.

Paul Hunt, managing director of Phoebus Software, said that it is good that mortgage lenders have not crawled into their shells as a result of the bad economic news that continues to emerge from within the eurozone.
 
‘According to the CML, annual mortgage lending has risen for the last three consecutive months for the first time since 2007. In the current economic context, that’s a big show of confidence by lenders who have helped buyers take advantage of the low base rate by offering record low price mortgage deals this year,’ he explained.

‘As we enter 2012, there’s no doubt the property market faces major challenges, but we’re yet to see mortgage lenders run for the hills in the face of the impending crisis on the continent,’ he added.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.