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House prices climb in July – average home now worth £170,825.

Anyone wanting to sell their home should be encouraged by reports that house prices last month showed their strongest rate of annual price growth since August 2010. The Nationwide’s monthly report shows UK house prices increased by 0. 8% in July and were 3. 9% higher than July 2012, the strongest rate of annual price growth since August 2010.

Mortgage lenders continue to report increased lending figures, so it should now be easier to sell at an acceptable price than for some time past.

Although the government has tried to encourage the market for new-build homes, it seems that housing construction is now lagging behind demand. The market for existing properties should therefore strengthen and home-movers should be able to find buyers more readily.

As always the headline figures for house prices conceal marked differences across the country. The land registry reports an average increase of just over 3% since June 2012, with the average price of a home now being £162, 621. But while prices in London increased by nearly 7%, in much of the country prices showed much more modest growth, and continued to decline in parts of northern England.

Flats and maisonettes show highest price increases

One interesting table in the land registry’s report is a breakdown of the average prices of different types of property. This shows that while the figure for a semi-detached house in England and Wales is now £153, 453, a flat/maisonette is now nearly £1, 000 more.  

Clearly there is now a greater demand for flats, which is reflected in the fact that prices for this type of property have increased by 2% since last year. In comparison other types of home show typical increases of less than 1%.

Mixed picture in Wales

In Wales house prices showed a monthly change of nearly 3% in June. However the picture across the Principality seems very mixed, with some areas showing significant increases in property values while other areas have experienced substantial falls. This variation may be partly explained by the fact that in some areas there have been few reported property transactions, so the statistics are less reliable.  

North Wales appears to be popular, with Conwy showing an average yearly increase of 7. 5%. In the south things are more mixed, but prices in most areas show a general increase – for example in both Cardiff and Blaenau Gwent the average yearly increase is 2. 9%. Only in the more rural areas of mid-Wales do prices seem to be struggling.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the North

While prices in northern England generally seem to be struggling, again the detailed picture is quite varied. For example while prices in North Tyneside saw a dip of -0. 7% in June, in next door Newcastle-upon-Tyne prices rose by 1. 1% over the same period. South of the Tyne prices in Gateshead have risen by an average of 0. 5% since last year – the same as up-market Solihull.

In the North-West the situation also seems very varied. Manchester has seen an average annual rise of 1. 1% although the figures for June showed a slight drop. On the other hand in Salford, where prices have fallen by -7. 3% since last year, there was a welcome increase of 0. 5% in June. And in Liverpool there was a rise of 0. 8% in June, to offset the fall in average values since 2012.

Encouraging news for sellers

Overall it seems that sellers are now in a somewhat stronger position than this time last year. Mortgage finance is more easily available for buyers. Those with lower deposits can now find lenders more willing to lend a higher proportion of the purchase price than has been the case for some years.  

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, thinks that “Signs of a modest improvement in wider economic conditions and further modest gains in employment are likely to be lifting buyer sentiment. An improvement in the availability and a reduction in the cost of credit, partly as a result of policy measures such as the Funding for Lending and Help to Buy schemes, are also boosting the demand for homes. ”

When selling your home it pays to appoint your Conveyancing Solicitor when you put the property on the market, rather than waiting until you have found a buyer. This gives you the luxury of shopping around and obtaining several quotes – but don’t just look at the cheapest quote, look for the firm which gives best value for money.

When you have appointed a Solicitor they can then get on with the preliminary Conveyancing work, such as getting details of your title and asking you to complete the usual information forms which will be required by any buyer. So as soon as you have found a buyer they can send off a complete contract package to the buyer’s Conveyancing Solicitor – this will enable the sale to move forward without delay.  


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