The amount of homes sold in England and Wales has dropped by 13% over the last year, reports the Land Registry.
The Land Registry’s market trend data report, containing its latest figures, reveals that there were just 70,404 completed house sales in June, compared with 80,823 in June last year.
The data also shows that the average house price has risen annually to August, by 4.2%, making the average property price in England and Wales £184,682. Prices grew by 0.5% between July and August.
Sales Drop by 13% in a Year, Reports Land Registry
Group Managing Director for Mortgages at Aldermore Bank, Charles Haresnape, comments on the findings: “While the annual price increase of 4.2% in the average house price will bring positive news for homeowners, the 13% decrease in completed house sales in England and Wales compared to June 2014 is worrying news.
“The fall may in some part reflect the impact of tighter lending criteria, but price rises are likely to prove a constraint on the number of first time buyers.”1
The highest price rise over the past year was experienced in the East of England, with homes now costing an average of 8.4% more than they did in August 2014. London witnessed the greatest monthly growth, of 1.7%.
The highest annual price increase in the capital was seen in Newham, East London, at 15.5%.
Chairman of national agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, Nicholas Leeming, explains: “Buyers are seeking areas offering the best value and proximity to work, which reflects not only the performance in the East of England, where the Cambridge effect and regional investment are bearing fruit, but also in boroughs such as Newham and Barking and Dagenham.
“On the wider front, we are seeing a continuing trend of higher property values for reported sales, but of more concern is the reducing numbers of properties coming to the market.
“However, this supply constraint in the middle markets is not being matched in the higher value sector, where many properties are struggling to find buyers at their current guide prices, mainly because of the effect that the Stamp Duty increase last year has had.”1
Property prices in the North West rose by the lowest amount, 0.2%, while the region also experienced the greatest monthly decline, of 1.4%.
Prices also dropped in Yorkshire and the Humber at 0.3% and the East Midlands at 0.2%.
The South East saw annual house price growth of 7.6% and London’s average price is now 6.6% higher than last year.
The data also reveals that semi-detached house prices increased more than any other property type. Annual growth of 4.7% for these properties compares to a 4.5% rise for detached homes.
The price of flats and maisonettes is now 4% higher than in August 2014 and terraced houses cost 3.7% more.
Chief Executive of housing charity Shelter, Campbell Robb, says continuing price growth is “pushing the dream of a stable home out of reach for millions”.
He continues: “Piecemeal Government schemes like Help to Buy or Starter Homes just aren’t helping the ordinary families who are completely priced out of a home of their own and left to face the huge costs and instability of private renting.
“The autumn spending review is the Government’s last chance to show they’re serious about giving millions of people a fair shot at a stable future by investing in the genuinely affordable homes they desperately need.”1