Monthly house price fall of 0.6%

House prices

March saw an annual house price fall of 0.6% according to Land Registry.

It means the average property value in England and Wales is £160,372.

The monthly change from February to March is a decrease of 0.6%.

The region in England and Wales which experienced the highest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 0.7%.

The North East experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 5.6%.

Wales experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of 5.5% and the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 4.1%.

The most up-to-date figures available show that, during January 2012, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by
13% to 42,511 compared to 37,584 in January 2011.

The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in January 2012 decreased by 6% to 467 from 497 in January 2011.

Mark Blackwell, managing director of xit2, said: “The fillip – in terms of both prices and activity – we saw over the winter has turned out to be something of a false dawn. The situation is only going to get worse; tougher times lie in wait for the housing market over the next few months. Lending to new buyers will drop sharply this quarter as mortgage lenders struggle to cope with their increased funding costs.

“Up until now, the banks have absorbed increasing costs rather than passing them onto the consumer. That policy has veiled serious underlying weaknesses in the mortgage market and the way it’s funded. Now lenders’ balance sheets are stretched to breaking point, those weaknesses are coming to bear.

“Lenders have told the Bank of England they’ll be forced ship extra costs onto customers in the form of higher rates and fewer high LTV loans. This will put the brakes on first time buyer activity, and reverberate through the rest of the market.”