Property prices vary across UK
PROPERTY prices increased in England, Scotland and Wales in the year to August, official figures show.
Across the UK, prices increased by 1.8% year-on-year in August to average £234,000, with annual rises of 2.1% in England to typically reach £242,000, 0.5% in Scotland to average £184,000 and 1.4% in Wales to reach £161,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Across the UK, prices have risen year-on-year for five months in a row, and they also recorded a small 0.1% increase month-on-month, following a flat July.
The annual price increase in England was driven by a 6.3% rise in London and increases of 2.4% in the South East and 1.2% in the West Midlands.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The South West saw an annual fall of 0.7%, while the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber recorded decreases of 0.5%.
But prices in Northern Ireland continued to plummet in a long-running trend, with a 12.8% annual decrease recorded, taking prices to £129,000 on average, the biggest percentage drop it has seen since May last year.
Such is the relative strength of London and the South East in holding the market up, house prices would have remained unchanged across the UK if these regions were not included in the figures, the ONS report showed.
An £80 billion funding for lending scheme was launched in August to free up the flow of credit to households and businesses, and there have been some early signs that it is having an effect on the housing market.
Mortgage availability has been increasing, although much of this so far has been concentrated around people with deposits of at least 20%.
In a sign of what is to come, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported last week that mortgage lending for homebuyers reached a two-year high in August, with £8.4 billion worth of loans advanced, representing an 11% increase on a year ago.
Prices in Northern Ireland have regularly been recording annual drops of around 10% in the ONS's monthly figures.
Analysts have put this down to the market re-adjusting after Northern Ireland recorded particularly strong house price increases in the years before the financial crisis struck.
Independent buying agent Gabby Adler said: "While parts of the country are undoubtedly quiet, in London prices continue to rise and will do until more properties come onto the market.
"In areas where there is high demand, houses are achieving much more than the asking price.
"Overall, it is fair to say that there is still a distinct lack of confidence and until it returns, house prices on the whole will be flat and bump along the bottom, give or take a few significant variations from region to region."