The UK Land Registry has reported a general trend of rising house prices in England and Wales in 2013, averaging at some 3.2%. Looking at London alone, that price rise is a startling 10.6%, compared to a fall of up to 10% in the North East. The average house price in the UK as a result is estimated to be around £165,000, but is a more modest £96,000 if you don’t include London in those figures.
The pace of the rise seems to have been reasonably steady over the year, though as you’d expect the rates have varied depending on the nature of the property. The rise has been the greatest in terraced homes rather than semi-detached properties, but we’re still only talking relatively small amounts. Certainly by any measure, the levels of increase are far below those experienced by the housing market during the last housing boom.
Looking at London, the highest rates of increase come in Waltham Forest, which has been more popular since prices sky-rocketed in nearby Stoke Newington and Hackney. Wandsworth and Lambeth are also both experiencing strong price growth, while Havering and Harrow are the London Boroughs experiencing the least increases – both hovering around the 2% mark.
Elsewhere in the country, the cities of Birmingham and Manchester have both benefitted from renewed interest in the housing market. Birminghams’ average house price is now £113,855 – a rise of 3.4%, while Manchester has grown by 4.8%, bringing the average house price to £95,438.
By comparison, Middlesborough’s house prices have fallen by 6.1%, but even that pales next to Hartlepool, which has been named by the Land Registry as the UK’s fastest falling house price location. In 2013, Hartlepool’s house prices fell by 9.9% to an average of £71,749.
The regional differences in the report highlight that London is the most energetic area of growth in the market. In particular it’s a combination of high demand and low supply in the most exclusive London areas that has made this bump in prices appear.
The Land Registry notes that some 1020 properties across England and Wales sold for over a million pounds in 2013 – compared to 639 sold in 2012 – a sixty percent increase. While this can best be described as a distortion, with the ultra-rich experiencing growth that is largely unmatched in the experience of the wider population, it is still a broadly positive sign for the new year.