UK house prices rallied strongly overall during 2012, pushed up by the exceptional performance of London, the South East and East Anglia.
- Average UK asking price 2.4% up on last year
- Prices in Greater London continue to race ahead, up 4.7% since December 2011
- Average time on market is 129 days, 9 days less than last year
- Whilst gross mortgage lending is at an 11-month high, it remains well below pre-crisis levels
- The latest data indicates the number of transactions is down 3.3% on last year
2012 may be regarded as a landmark year in the slow recovery of the UK housing market. Despite public sector cuts, rising living costs, wage freezes and rises in unemployment, property prices are at last increasing more or less in line with inflation.
Rising prices may offer some optimism for vendors planning to move home, although there are alarming regional disparities behind the headline UK figure. The top performing areas (London, the South East and East Anglia) have the enviable combination of rising prices and falling time on market, indicating that demand for property is much higher. If we ignore these top three performing regions, the average asking price change is just +0.9% since this time last year, which means the rest of the UK is still going backwards in real terms.
Table 1: Regional Housing Markets
|Average Asking Price||Annual change since December 2011||Average Time on Market (days)|
|Yorkshire & Humber||£166,820||0.3%||162|
Aside from buyer demand, the strong rental market of recent years has restricted supply of properties entering the sales market and this has supported prices across the country. With reports of gross yields as high as 7% in some locations, this side of the property market should continue to shore up asking prices.
"Following the stable pricing of 2011, we have tracked rising prices throughout 2012. While the recent price growth is encouraging news, it is important to acknowledge that the gains are largely driven by the demand for property in London and the South East, the main recipients of government stimulus. Prices in the North West and Yorkshire have shown either declines or marginal rises," commented Doug Shephard, director at Home.co.uk.
Sources: Home.co.uk Asking Price Index, Land Registry, CML
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