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3% Property Price Fall Predicted For 2012

by Alison Feemantle

As we’ve seen with previous months, conflicting sets of figures with regards to the property market are often released by various bodies but some of the more trusted statistics originate from the Land Registry.

Overall, the figures show that while there are big variations in property prices across the UK, the average price of a home in Great Britain is now around one per cent lower than a year ago at £160,417. In addition, the Land Registry confirm that their figures show a fall of 0.3% in prices from March to April and this tends to be consistent with those numbers released by other organisations.

Once again, there is widespread variation across the UK with prices in London climbing by 5.1% in April according to the survey; a rise that also means a 5.1% increase on the same period in 2011. Meanwhile, the biggest monthly fall of 2.7% was experienced in the West Midlands while Yorkshire and Humberside suffered the largest annual drop of 5.6% on statistics released a year ago.

“The divergence between house prices in London and those of the rest of the country has increased sharply this month,” the Land Registry announced.

“The average price of property in the capital is £360,721 in comparison with the average for England and Wales of £160,417.”

The prices across the UK are fluctuating so wildly that some industry experts are finding it hard to see a pattern emerging.

“Very low transaction levels are causing prices to shift unpredictably from month to month,” said Russell Quirk of emoov.co.uk.

“For prices in the capital to have shot up 5.1% during April, after a decline of 1.8% in March, drives home just how volatile and unpredictable the market is.

“Take prices in the North East. These shot up by 5.6% in March but fell 2.1% in April. Where’s the logic?”

Meanwhile, Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight believes that the figures released by the Land Registry are consistent with predictions that the market will start to settle into a steady fall over the next few months.

“We expect house prices to fall by around three per cent by the end of 2012,” he said.

Figures released by various bodies and organisations such as the Land Registry, Office of National Statistics, the Halifax and Nationwide can often give us a confusing set of figures. In addition, the property market picture was masked by the closing of the stamp duty holiday but maybe, as Howard Archer suggests, we are now set for a more stable period even if that reveals a steady drop in house prices for the remainder of 2012.

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