Online House Hunter: A mixed message
AMONG the batch of monthly housing surveys, Hometrack stands out as one of the more authoritative as it takes in details from 5,100 agents and surveyors across England and Wales.
Their survey of March shows the familiar good and bad news in these stuttering times. First the bad news: A drop of 3.2 per cent year-on-year in house prices. The monthly drop was just 0.1 per cent putting the average price of a property at £153,100.
The good news includes a continuing return to the market of house-buyers – a growth of 4.2 per cent over March. Volume of sales agreed grew by 12.6 per cent over March and Hometrack say this has led to “a firming in underlying pricing levels with the proportion of the asking price rising from 91.9 per cent in January to 92.7% in March.”
Other key points include:
- Prices were down across 27% of the country in March while 8% of the country posted price rises.
- London registered the first monthly increase in prices for 8 months on the back of rising demand and dwindling supply. Central London was the primary driver of a 0.2% increase in prices across the capital.
- The time on the market stands at 9.9 weeks but in three regions the average is over 3 months. In two other regions it is just under 3 months.
- The supply of housing continues to grow on the back of improved levels of market activity.
National surveys can only give a snapshot of the country as a whole and you need to talk to your local estate agents or surveyors to find out what is happening with house prices in your area (or the area you wish to move to). However, the Land Registry can supply good data on house prices within council areas and you can compare this with other areas and/or over periods of time. You will also find a wealth of data on the Communities and Local Government website.
- Independent online property search
- Land Registry
- Communities and Local Government housing data
- BBC guide to house price surveys
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