England and Wales see 0.4% boost for average house prices in May

by Gary Whittaker

Last month, average house prices across both England and Wales climbed 0.4 per cent, rising to a new high of £277,178, according to data from LSL Property Services.

The firm's house price index reveals that the market has set a fourth price record for 2015, but monthly price growth is still lagging behind, sitting at just a third of what it was last year, Property Wire reports.

Including London, year-on-year price growth reached 4.5 per cent, while removing England's capital saw the figure fall slightly to 4.4 per cent.

London, which skewed prices only a few months ago, has been knocked back to fourth place in terms of price growth, with the north of England rising to the top spot. The index reveals that house prices in Kensington and Chelsea are now as much as 16 per cent lower than their peak in 2014.

LSL's data also demonstrates that home sales were down 14 per cent year on year last month, due to a lack of supply suppressing activity in the market.

Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, told Property Wire that the 0.4 per cent increase achieved in May is lower than the 1.2 per cent reached in the same period last year, but still believes it is indicative of a recovery in the housing market.

He added that there are now only four areas of the country that are still experiencing lacklustre growth that is lower than the 2007/2008 benchmarks. However, these regions are now catching up and growth is accelerating.

For example, average property prices in the north of England currently stand four per cent lower than they did before the global financial crisis, but this region has recently experienced the fastest increase in annual growth, climbing from 2.3 per cent in March to 3.6 per cent in April.

In the north-west, south-west and East Midlands, prices are also on the way up, while growth in London is dwindling.

Mr Gill explained: "This has knocked the capital back into fourth position in the rankings of regional house price growth over the past 12 months with the annual rise in London estimated to now be less than 12 per cent of what it was in of July last year and 2.4 per cent in May 2015, down from 20.7 per cent in the summer of 2014."

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12-June-15General Lettings News