UK property values posted a monthly price rise for the first time in 20 months in March on the back of increased demand, activity and a scarcity of residential properties for sale.
However, UK Property Prices overall were up in the South and down in the North
According to fresh data released by Hometrack, UK residential property prices are still rising in the South, but property values have seen widespread falls throughout the East Midlands, Wales and the North.
During March 2012, residential property values did dip a little in a few parts of London, the South-West and East Anglia. However, in Yorkshire and Humber, about half the region saw property prices fall. Property values were also down in the East Midlands, North West and Wales,
With such widespread variations, the Hometrack survey shows that nationally residential property prices as a whole are barely moving, up just 0.2% from February 2012.
There was only a 4.4% increase in new buyers registering with agents, compared to 18% in February.
The length of time taken to sell a residential property also varies widely across the country, from 11.6 weeks in the Midlands and North to under six weeks in London.
Hometrack’s Director of Research, Richard Donnell, said: “The housing market is not firing on all cylinders nationally. The divergence in the relative strength in northern and southern England is set to remain. We expect prices to track sideways in the short term, with the outlook for the second half of the year hinging on households’ expectations for the economy and their incomes.”
The Hometrack report does not give residential property prices, but said that in London property prices rose 0.5% in March, the highest monthly increase since April 2010.
However, the increase in London property prices were recorded pre-Budget, when Stamp Duty on properties valued at £2 Million (GBP) plus increased from 5% to 7%, for private purchasers, and 15%for properties bought by partnerships, collective investment funds and companies.
The survey results reveal a clear divide in the strength of the UK property market between southern England and the rest of the country.
Hometrack reckon that all the evidence points to a continued firming up in UK property prices over the next few months as demand for residential property increases and the supply of available properties remains subdued.
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