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New Land Registry data shows fall in transactions and price rises slowing

The number of homes sold over the spring and early summer this year was down on 2014 while house price rises are running at their lowest since November 2013.

Land Registry data, just released, shows an average of 65,550 transactions per month between March and June compared to 73,985 sales a month in the same period last year, says the Land Registry. 

But the Registry's August price data shows an annual price increase of 4.2 per cent which takes the average property in England and Wales to £184,682. 

The regional data indicates that the region with the most significant annual price increase is East Anglia with a rise of 8.4 per cent, although in August alone the biggest increase was in London where - despite rumours of a slowdown - typical prices rose 1.7 per cent. 

The north west has seen the lowest annual price increase of 0.2 per cent but also the most significant monthly price decrease with a fall of 1.4 per cent in August.

Sales and repossessions during June 2015, the most up-to-date figures available, show that the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 13 per cent to 70,404 compared with 80,823 in June 2014.

The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1m decreased by 17 per cent to 1,031 from 1,237 a year earlier.

Meanwhile repossessions in England and Wales decreased by 43 per cent to 498 compared with 868 in June 2014; the region with the greatest fall in the number of repossession sales was London.

  • Peter Hendry

    Our volatile housing market is a potential powder keg, waiting to explode or, conversely it could implode without warning. Cheap and sizeable loans are driving both of these possibilities.

    Not having provided fixed interest 'lifetime' mortgages making these readily available and possibly even mandatory has exacerbated the problem, one which the US has cleverly managed to avoid.

    The circus in the UK housing market is not simply about inadequate total supply levels or a shortage in the overall numbers of new dwellings being built.

    The main problem is there's currently a worrying slowdown in the number of completed sales, which are primarily dependent upon prices, or to be more specific, there're dependent upon asking prices.

    There needs to be a way of adjusting these so that 'sales throughput' roughly equates to current affordable need/demand, which is linked to the average ability to actually pay the prices currently being sought, without recourse to excessively onerous loans or mortgage contracts.

    Estate agents are in the perfect position to reconcile these forces as they act for sellers but they could, in fact, feasibly change and act for buyers instead.

    If they were to change 'horses' in this way they could have a huge and beneficial impact on the number of sales or purchase completions, helping to keep the throughput of completions relatively constant and in line with current demand and supply.

    For more about precisely how such a massive improvement could actually be achieved, please google Property Match UK.

  • Rob  Davies

    You make some very valid points. An interesting, and convincing, argument that should definitely be voiced more often.

    We can't keep burying our heads in the sand with regards to the UK housing market - it's in a mess, it will take a very long while to fix, but the longer we leave it the worse it's going to get. We need the government to act - no laughing at the back! - but it seems more likely that pigs will fly before that happens, so I won't be holding my breath.

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