The decline was highlighted in London
By Roxanne James

UK Property Prices Average Almost 180,000 GBP

January saw house prices increase 1.3%, pushing property values to within touching distance of the 2007 peak of £181,101.

According to the Land Registry, the gain was the largest recorded since July 2014 and goes against the recent trend of subdued price growth, albeit with considerable regional variation.

The average price for a property in England and Wales now stands at £179,492, representing an annual increase of 6.7%, down from 8.2% achieved in August last year.

Prices increased by the most in the north-west of England, rising by 2.6% in January, while in the south-west and south-east, gains were also above the national average of 1.5% and 1.4% respectively.

Property price declines were recorded in Yorkshire and Humber where the average price of a home fell 1.5% in January, with London and the north-east recording the same dip in value of 0.2%.

Despite the overall slowdown of the UK's housing market towards the end of 2014, transaction volumes increased indicating a slow-down at the luxury end of the market. An average number of 79,549 transactions were recorded each month between August and November compared with 77,694 per month for the same period in 2013.

The Land Registry provided further evidence that transaction activity in prime markets has slowed, reporting an 18% decline in the number of properties changing hands with price tags over £1m.

The decline was highlighted in London where sales of seven-figure properties fell 24% year-on-year.

Property economist at Capital Economics, Matthew Pointon said: "The month-on-month changes tend to be quite volatile but the underlying rates have picked up a bit recently. While it is too early to say for sure, that could reflect the reform to Stamp Duty. In any event, a strong economic backdrop and record low mortgage rates are both supporting house price growth".


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