House prices rise by 6.4% – but dip in £1m-plus sales
Property prices continued to grow steadily in England and Wales in December 2015, according to the Land Registry’s latest House Price Index.
The cost of the average home in England and Wales rose by 1.2% from November, with an annual increase of 6.4%.
But the number of properties sold for £1 million-plus dropped by 2% in October 2015 both in London and in England and Wales, as compared with the previous year – the latest figures available. And sales of £2 million-plus houses fell by 17%.
The Land Registry’s House Price Index is published using data collected on all residential housing transactions, whether for cash or with a mortgage in England and Wales. It uses a sample size that is larger than all other statistical measures available.
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London house prices continue to spiral
Prices in the capital continued to outperform other regions, with a monthly growth of 2.1% and an annual growth of 12.4%.
This means that the average price of a London property was £514,097 in December – compared with £188,270 in the rest of England and Wales.
The London borough with the highest annual price rise was Barking and Dagenham – up 15.3%. Other London boroughs showing significant house-price hikes were Hillingdon (15.2%), Enfield (13.4%), Lewisham (12.6%) and Havering (12.4%).
Meanwhile, prime central London areas had little growth, with Hammersmith and Fulham showing the smallest annual increase at 3.3%, followed by Kensington and Chelsea at 3.6%.
Fall in house completions and repossessions
There was a drop in the number of completed house sales. There were 79,960 in October 2015, compared with 86,452 in the previous year – down 8%.
Repossessions meanwhile fell by 51%, from 888 to 431 across England and Wales. This fall was more marked in London, with 71% fewer repossession than in October 2014.
Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS chairman and north London estate agent, comments: “The decline in number of property transactions continues to be a worry. If people aren’t able to move in and out of the market when they want to, there will be an inevitable knock-on effect for the rest of the economy.
“With the high cost of moving, continued shortage of supply and affordability issues with tougher mortgage criteria, this situation looks unlikely to change any time soon.”
A homeowner’s worst nightmare; repossession is an action of last resort by mortgage lenders to recover money from borrowers that have failed to keep up with repayments on their mortgage or other loan secured on their home (see secured loan). Repossession is a legal procedure that has to go through several processes before the homeowner is evicted and the property reposed. These are: if a borrower keeps defaulting; the lender applies for a solicitor’s notice; the lender instigates possession proceedings through the court; at the court hearing a possession order is granted and sometimes a possession warrant; a bailiff is appointed and an eviction notice issued at which point the homeowner has two to three weeks to vacate the property.
All investment returns are measured against a benchmark to represent “the market” and an investment that performs better than the benchmark is said to have outperformed the market. An active managed fund will seek to outperform a relevant index through superior selection of investments (unlike a tracker fund which can never outperform the market). Outperform is also an investment analyst’s recommendation, meaning that a specific share is expected to perform better than its peers in the market.
Everything you own: all your assets (property, cars, investments, savings, insurance payouts, artwork, furniture etc) minus any liabilities (debts, current bills, payments still owed on assets like cars and houses, credit card balances and other outstanding loans). When you’re alive this is called your wealth; when you’re dead, it becomes your estate.