The UK regions hardest hit by house price falls
The South West of England suffered the most dramatic house price falls in the year to 30 April, while five out of 10 regions saw falls of less than the national average.
The latest house price figures from the Land Registry show that England and Wales saw house price plummet by 16.2% during the year, bringing the average price to £152,898. However, property values in the South West region declined by 18%, making it the hardest hit region. The North East, meanwhile, saw prices fall 17.3%, closely followed by the South East (17.2%), the East (16.3%) and the North West (16.3%).
All other regions saw below-average house price falls. Wales suffered the least, with property’s declining 12.8% in value, followed by London (14.3%), the East Midlands (14.7%) and the West Midlands (15%).
However, on a monthly scale the North East showed the most significant fall of 2.6%. London, the East and West Midlands, the East and Wales saw house prices increase slightly during April.
|Region||Monthly change (April)||Annual change||Average price|
|Source: Land Registry, April 2009|
The Land Registry’s figures also show that terraced property and flats/maisonettes have been the worst hit by the house market downturn, falling 17.9% and 17.4% respectively in the 12 months to April 2009. In contrast, detached property fell by 14% and semi-detached by 15.9%.
Stuart Law, chief executive of property firm Assetz, says the figures show the housing market is stabilising.
"It is too early to talk of house price growth forecasts with any certainty, but this year is likely to see annual falls of 5% as we predicted last December and I anticipate 2010 will bring some recovery against losses incurred since the market peak in 2007,” he adds.
However, the Land Registry says the number of successful house sales were 50% down in February 2009 compared to the same month the previous year. In London, the number of sales was 59% lower on an annual basis.
Seema Shah, property economist at Capital Economics, says low sales mean house price falls are still not over: "Unfortunately, with the economic outlook still downbeat and mortgage credit conditions still tight, completed sales are unlikely to return to more normal levels this year.
"The bottom line is that while the improvement in buyer sentiment may help to slow the pace of house price falls over the coming months, there is still a long way to go before house prices reach their floor."