House prices remain steady

House prices remain steady

The Land Registry’s flagship House Price index for August shows an unchanged average price of £163,376.

Whilst there was no change from July, this represents a 0.7 per cent increase from the same period last year.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, owners of Your Move and Reeds Rains, thinks this is a positive sign for the market: “While August was far from a bumper month for the housing market by historic standards, it’s clear that the added distraction of the Olympics did not derail buyer activity.

“In fact, as things stand, both prices and activity are holding up pretty well in the face of choppy economic waters.”Changes in some regions have been particularly significant, with London having seen five per cent movement over the last year.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “London’s housing market is in overdrive.

“It is the hottest of hot spots for property prices. The catalyst heating up the capital’s market is foreign buyers, who have swooped in to snap up property that ordinary Londoners can’t afford.

“The average loan-to-value for house purchase loans in London is 3% below the national average — a sure sign that it is wealthier buyers with lots of equity who are dominating the market.”

The most applications were seen in the South East where 255,424 were made in August.

Over 65,400 residential property applications were lodged nationally. Paul Hunt, managing director of Phoebus Software said of the figures:"The housing market is stagnant and we won’t see any real jump in transaction levels and house prices until there is more focus on tackling the lack of first time buyers.

“Lenders are offering great rates and attractive mortgage packages but there needs to be greater focus on innovative ways to help new buyers overcome the deposit hurdle.”

Mr Hunt believes the Funding for Lending scheme could help stimulate further activity in the market.

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