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Transaction volumes fall up to 40% according to latest official figures

The latest official house price index, released by the Office for National Statistics, shows that house price growth was 6.9 per cent in the year to the end of October, down from 7.0 per cent a month earlier. 

The UK average house price was £217,000 in October, up £14,000 annually, but unchanged from the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics.

However, the biggest worry for the industry is in the fall in transaction volumes - down by almost 40 per cent in London, for example. 

Homes in England increased in value by a typical 7.4 per cent over the year to October, as measured by the ONS. The average English home costs £233,000 - and in London it is now £474,000. The East of England was the region with the greatest annual growth - up 12.3 per cent to today’s average of £279,000.

Growth in the South East was second highest at 9.1 per cent over the year, followed by London at 7.7 per cent. The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where prices increased by 2.7 per cent over the year.

Sales during August 2016, the most up-to-date figures available, show that the number of completed house sales in England fell by 20.3 per cent to 67,396 compared with 84,565 in August 2015.

In London the drop was immense - down 39.3 per cent to 6,607 compared with 10,881 in August 2015.

The number of completed house sales in Wales fell by 11.6 per cent to 3,558 compared with 4,025 in August 2015.

Jeremy Leaf, the north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, says it’s important to note that the increase may appear encouraging but, because of the age of the data, not necessarily a snapshot of today’s market.

“When you look at the number of transactions, particularly in London, the figures actually become much more worrying. We are always much more concerned about the ability of buyers and sellers to access the market rather than the boom and bust in house prices” he says.

Meanwhile in a separate survey, by website Home, Greater London has seen its first price fall for six years - average values are down 0.4 per cent annually.

Across the whole market for the UK, Home says the supply of property for sale continues to increase rapidly - up 19 per cent in London, up 30 per cent in the East of England and up 27 per cent in the South East. 

The typical time on the market has edged up three days to 95 days over the last month across England and Wales: however, this remains nine days less than in December 2015.

The total stock of property on the market in England and Wales has again dropped back a little since last month but is 1.7 per cent more than in December last year.

  • Brit Sixteen Sixty Four

    Transactions will increase when prices come down to more rational levels to match the current tax and lending restrictions.

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