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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Prices rise strongly in north and south west as London lags again

House price growth has been strongest in the north west of England according to the latest government figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Prices rose 7.3 per cent in the year to the end of September in the north west and 5.6 per cent in the south west; London, by contrast, saw a rise of just 2.5 per cent - the lowest of any UK region.

The average UK house price according to this index is now £226,000.

"The [North West] region, which is home to major cities including Manchester, Liverpool and Chester, has risen up the ranks in terms of annual house price growth, surpassing the likes of the East Midlands and the East of England which have performed exceptionally well across 2017" according to Nick Leeming, chief executive of Jackson-Stops.

"With the average house price in the North West around £100,000 less than across England as a whole, is it not surprising to see buyers turning their attention to the region’s property stock. The increase in demand means we will likely see accelerated growth here in 2018" he says.

Jeremy Leaf, north London agent and a former RICS residential faculty chairman, adds that: "Of course, there is no average UK price and the UK market reflects all different areas working at various paces, the trend in London is quite different where an excess of supply and weak demand are combining to reduce prices consistently with no real prospect of an increase until early next year at the soonest."

Meanwhile the better-than-expected figures from the ONS have pushed business consultancy PwC to say that its forecast for the 2017 housing market - that prices would rise three to five per cent - is likely to end up at the upper end of this range.

"The other notable trend is that these price gains are being experienced on increasingly low transaction volumes, which were 15.2% lower in July 2017 than July 2016. This does point to a lack of broader market momentum and may lead to a softening in price growth as we move into 2018” says a statement from the consultancy.

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