Completed house sales fall to 57,000
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by Gill Montia
House prices in England and Wales slipped by 0.1% in June (May: +0.5%) having recorded a monthly decline for the first time this year.
According to the LSL/Acadametrics index, transactions fell to their second-lowest monthly level since 1995 (circa 57,000) although at £224,102, the value of the typical home showed an annual rise of 3% (May: +2.3%).
Acadametrics spokesman, Dr Peter Williams, suggests that June’s minor drop is a return to trend, rather than an early warning of a more deep-seated malaise in the current housing market.
For Greater London the year-on-year increase stood at 8% in June, on the back of continuing demand by foreign investors for properties in central London.
In fact, 10 London boroughs are currently experiencing record house prices, as is Greater London as a whole.
Looking ahead, Richard Sexton, director of e.surv (part of the LSL group) comments: “There is still underlying demand from buyers eager to take advantage of historically affordable mortgage rates and, if the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme proves to be a success, we may see a change of pace from lenders, allowing a greater number of would-be buyers to make their first purchase.”
The Funding for Lending scheme was launched last week by the Bank of England and HM Treasury.
The £80 billion initiative aims to boosting lending by allowing banks and building societies that increase lending to fund their activities at a lower cost than those that scale back.
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