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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

London market improves thanks to buyers returning at last

A housing market monitor that for some months has been pessimistic about London and the rest of the England and Wales now suggests there are signs of recovery in almost all areas.

London Central Portfolio, an investment consultancy, has a well-respected monthly assessment of the markets in prime central London, Greater London and the rest of the UK - and all three are said to be improving.

LCP says that in prime central London, buyer momentum is continuing to build after a long fallow period. 

The average prices of sales in July - the latest data available, and excluding new-build in that area - show a modest 1.5 per cent annual growth, standing at £1.909m. 

However the quarterly surge in the number of transactions - higher in the second quarter of the year over the first by no less than 26.7 per cent - comes despite a five per cent drop over the past 12 months as a whole.

In Greater London as a whole, average prices in July - again excluding new builds - stood at £644,746 - an annual rise of 1.9 per cent and a monthly rise of no less than 3.1 per cent, the strongest monthly performance since 2014.

The fall in annual transactions was just 1.7 per cent, boosted by a huge surge in transactions in the second quarter of this year - up 33.4 per cent.

Meanwhile for the entirety of England and Wales prices have risen 2.2 per cent in a month to stand at an average £263,145 - once more that excludes new-builds.

Annual price movement is just about status - up just 0.8 per cent - but annual transactions showed a 2.2 per cent increase.

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