??Average house prices steady despite high-end growth
?The average price of a property in England and Wales has risen by 6.4 per cent, new figures have shown. Data from Land Registry's House Price Index shows the average price now stands at £172,011. London prices remain something of an anomaly, however, with the average value being £437,608, which represents a year-on-year increase of 16.4 per cent. The figures show that there was no average monthly change in prices between May to June, while repossession volumes fell by 30 per cent in April to 898 compared to 1,285 for the same month a year earlier. In terms of monthly increases, the West Midlands saw the greatest rate of growth with 1.9 per cent, while the North-East saw the slowest rate of expansion and the Yorkshire and Humber region witnessed the most significant monthly price decline. Land Registry also revealed that the number of completed house sales in England and Wales jumped by 31 per cent compared to the same month 12 months previously. In addition, the number of properties costing in excess of £1 m rose by 39 per cent over the same period. Alexander Gosling, from Housesimple.co.uk, said that a combination of factors have cooled the housing market. "With the mortgage market review, rate rises to come and wage growth still proving negligible, there is every reason to expect more conservative price growth in the months ahead. I think London buyers in particular have reached a point where enough is enough," he stated. Peter Rollings, chief executive of west and central London agency Marsh and Parsons, told the Evening Standard that more choice coming onto the market and calmer market conditions mean that London buyers will feel less daunted at the prospect of getting onto the property ladder. Recent research conducted by Shelter found that a quarter of 20-34-year-old workers in England still lives at home with their parents or grandparents, with unaffordable housing cited as the main reason as to why.
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