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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Patchy market but 74 of 108 areas still reporting house price rises

The industry has long been critical of reports claiming house price movements are in some way uniform across the country, but the latest data from Your Move suggests one of the most localised and patchy market pictures for some time.

It says that in terms of regional performance, for example, the caricature North-South divide in England and Wales isn’t entirely clear-cut. 

The South West, for instance, with annual growth of 1.0 per cent, is level pegging with the North East and Yorkshire & Humberside.

In the South East, Bracknell Forest has seen prices fall 7.8 per cent over a year, among the biggest falls, but Windsor and Maidenhead (the most expensive local authority area in the region, with average prices of £600,701), has seen growth of 7.5 per cent. 

In the East of England, most areas are subdued, but Thurrock, with a 4.2 per cent annual increase, continues to grow robustly. 

Your Move, basing its comment on data drawn from November transactions, says annual price growth continues to be positive across the majority of the major conurbations outside London with Leicester (7.5 per cent), the West Midlands (5.3), Nottingham (5.1), Greater Manchester (4.8) and Bristol (4.3) all showing strong growth. 

An exception is Southampton, where prices are down 3.1 per cent annually. 

Overall in November, 74 of the 108 unitary authority areas - that’s 60 per cent - in England and Wales still recorded price rises over the year. 

London continues to be blighted by Brexit uncertainty however; Your Move says its figures are heavily influenced by big falls in a few key boroughs at the top of the market.

Kensington and Chelsea, the most expensive, has seen average prices drop 21.2 per cent in the past year from £2.25m to £1.77m; the City of Westminster, second, is down almost a quarter, dropping 24.8 per cent from £1.93m to £1.45m. 

On a monthly basis, Greater London average prices are up 1.0 per cent, with a third consecutive month of growth recorded amidst uncertainty. 

Sales for the three-month period to the end of November 2018, meanwhile, are actually four per cent up on the same three months in 2017, possibly the result of significant numbers of new builds - they are estimated to account for 14 per cent of all sales in Greater London in the 11 months to the end of November. 

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