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The latest house price index from Nationwide Building Society has revealed a 0.4% rise for the month of December compared with November, which means that house prices are now just 0.4% higher than this time last year. Despite this increase, it is stated that house prices have fallen in four out of the last six months and it would be incorrect to suggest that the downward trend has changed based on one month’s slight increase.
Seven regions in England and Wales experienced increases in their average property values over the last 12 months. The region with the highest annual price change is London with an increase of 6.8%. London also saw the greatest monthly rise of 0.4% in December. The region with the greatest annual price fall was Wales with a decrease of 3.3%.
Hometrack, a housing intelligence group, has said that prices fell for a sixth month in December and may decline by 2% in 2011.
Experts have predicted that the property values will drop by 5-10% in 2011 following declining prices since the summer of 2010. The cause of this is stated to be down to tight mortgage conditions, high prices compared to earnings and the lack of consumer confidence. The decline in prices is expected to be most noticeable in areas which are further from London.
It is expected that houses will remain under downward pressure in the first half of 2011 with less properties on the market and the uncertainty concerning the economy together with the Governments spending cuts. The number of homes put up for sale dropped by 1.5% for the second month in a row during December. The average time it takes to sell a property also rose to 10 weeks in December, this being the longest period since April 2009.
According to the latest annual Halifax First Time Buyer Review, however there has been a significant improvement in affordability over the past three years mainly down to the lower house prices and declining mortgage rates due to the Bank of England’s base rate being at a record low of 0.5%. In 2010, 40% of the local authority districts across the UK were affordable for the average first time buyer which is considered an improvement since 2007. The North east region was considered the most affordable region in the UK for first time buyers.
Only 5% of first time buyers paid stamp duty between April and November 2010 as a result of the temporary increase in the stamp duty threshold for first time buyers from £125,000.00 to £250,000.00.
The housing market performed better in southern areas of England rather than northern ones during 2010, with Scotland and Wales seeing the biggest price gains. According to Halifax, house price are expected to be strongest in southern England as this part of the country is likely to do better economically.
When buying a new home your solicitor will arrange for searches to be carried out on the property. There are a number of searches which may potentially be arranged depending on the location of the property for instance a Tin Mining search if the property is in Cornwall or a Brine search if it is in Cheshire.
Which head of a renowned commercial agency office recently stated that “ Nobody in the retail trade is in doubt that a shop in the wrong location.
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