The final numbers are positive for property prices in the United Kingdom (UK), specifically England and Wales. The latest Land Registry report for the two regions showed an average 0.8% gain in real estate prices, with London leading the way at an 8.4% increase. Repossessions, which are typically not included in the report, were down 16% in October 2012 compared to the same period in the prior year. Analysts attribute the decrease to improvements in the labor market, lower interest rates and the willingness for lenders to work with at-risk borrowers. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.
Average house prices increased by 0.8% in December to £165,080, according to the flagship index from the Land Registry published today (Tuesday 29 January).
The figures also show an annual price increase of 1.7% with London seeing the biggest increase at 8.4%. London also experienced the greatest monthly rise with an increase of 3.1%.
The North West experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of 3.5% and also saw the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 0.9%.
The most up to date figures available show that during October 2012, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 3% to 56,337 compared with 57,988 in October 2011.
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The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in October 2012 increased by 14% to 623 from 548 in October 2011.
The South East tops the table of regional applications with 193,079 in December. Over 54,500 residential properties in England and Wales lodged for registration in December ranging from £10,000 to £14 million.
Repossession volumes, included for the first time in this month’s report, decreased by 16% in October 2012 to 1,524 compared with 1,805 in the same period a year earlier.
All regions saw a decrease in repossessions between October 2011 and October 2012 ranging from 8% in the South East to 35% in the North East.
David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said the figures show that house prices in 2012 saw a continued, if gentle, recovery that will be welcomed by home owners and investors alike.
‘However, even more encouraging is the annual fall in the number of repossessions. The labour market has been unexpectedly buoyant in the last year, and falling unemployment has helped prevent the number of defaulting borrowers climb. However, nearly four years with a record low Bank Rate has been crucial. Many borrowers who have been financially hard pressed since the recession have been given more breathing room by lower interest payments,’ he pointed out.
‘Nevertheless, after so long with rock bottom rates, borrowers and new buyers must remember that rates will eventually rise and not be taken by surprise when they do so, or we will see mortgage arrears cases and repossessions climb rapidly when the Monetary Policy Committee does take a different course of action,’ he added.
This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.