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London continues to prop up the housing market

The latest Land Registry figures suggest a good month for house prices, but the trend is far from universal

Housing prices rose by an average of 0.8 per cent across the UK in July, the equivalent of  £1,100 per home. The average house price in the UK is now £162,900. As a result house prices are up by 0.3 per cent over the last year.

However a surging London property market is covering up cracks that are becoming increasingly deep. The previous year has seen prices in the capital balloon by 6.5 per cent. Tellingly the Land Registry’s figures reveal that the number of homes worth more than a £1 million sold in the last year has leapt to 562, compared to just 271 in the year before. This indicates the upper end of the housing market (predominantly found in London) is distorting figures for the market as a whole. Even within London different areas had wildly differing experiences. Prices in Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster grew by 16.1 per cent and 14.4 per cent respectively.

The only regions outside of London who experienced any growth during the year are the East, the South East, and the East Midlands. All of these regions experienced price growth of less than 1 per cent.

Kristjan Byfield of estate agents  Base Property Specialists, said “the market will continue to plod along for the foreseeable. Every sale is a struggle.”

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