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London property rises despite falls across England

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10th Feb 12 8:44 am

Greater London was the only region of England where house prices increased in December, according to a survey.

House prices increased by 0.6 per cent in December compared to the previous month’s figures, according to the LSL Property Services and Acadametrics’ England & Wales House Price Index. Property prices in London were three per cent higher in

December last year then they were in December 2010.

Wales was the only other region in the survey to register a monthly rise in prices in December, but estate agents believe this is because of the seasonal slowdown that is typical of the winter months.

Nationally, where data is available for the month of January, house prices dropped by 0.2 per cent compared to December, while they were down 1.4 per cent over the last 12 months.

LSL Property Services commercial director David Brown said: “Prices edged down in January, dropping further than the normal seasonal slowdown we expect to see in the first month of the year.

“This means prices are now falling at 1.4 per cent on an annual basis – the fastest rate of decline since September. This has been driven by growing concerns among property buyers about the state of the global economy – especially the extent to which the eurozone crisis will slow the market.”

Mortgage lenders are injecting nearly 20 per cent more into the finance market than at the same point last year and this has stopped prices falling further across the country in recent months, said Brown.

However, high-value properties in the South East and London are being picked up by international buyers looking for a safe haven from the global financial downturn.

Brown said: “As a result, prices in London have bucked the national trend, not falling in any of the last six months, and growing annually by three per cent.”

Across the London boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea has experienced the biggest rise in property prices over the last 12 months.

The average house in the borough cost £1,394,086 in December 2011, up 16.2 per cent from the same time last year.

Some 13 of London’s 33 boroughs have seen average prices drop and nine of the 13 are ranked in the lower half of all London boroughs by price. Cheaper properties have struggled to sell as there is a shortage of first time buyers, who are having trouble securing mortgages.

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