30 May

House prices

House prices in England and Wales were 6.7% higher in April from a year earlier, according to figures from the Land Registry. Its monthly house price index also found that prices rose by 1.5% between March and April, with the average property price now at £172,069. Prices in London rose by 4.2% over that period, the steepest monthly rise since records began in 1995. The smallest annual rise - of 2.9% - was seen in the North East. There have been worries that the housing market in some areas is overheating, especially in London, where the Land Registry said prices rose by 17% over the last year. Earlier in the week, the Nationwide building society warned that the London housing market could face a "natural correction". The mutual's chief executive, Graham Beale said there was already a "slowing down in the market place", and that buyers had started to baulk at ever higher house prices. Expensive Last week, the Office for National Statistics said UK house prices rose by 8% in the year to the end of March. Unlike other measures of the housing market, the Land Registry figures are based on actual sale prices, comparing the price at which a particular property sold with the price it sold for previously. The Land Registry figures also include cash buyers, who can account for up to a third of deals. The most expensive sale in April was located in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where a property sold for £24m. The cheapest sale took place in Bishop Auckland, Co Durham for £12,000. The average price of a property in London, according to the Land Registry, was £435,034 in April, while the North East has the lowest average price of £99,001.

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