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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 17:39 GMT
No pause in UK property boom

Britain's property boom has continued apace, a keenly watched market surveys has shown, with house prices soaring by one quarter over the past year.

The Land Registry, which is reckoned to have the most comprehensive register of the housing market, calculated that the average house price was 145,251 during the last three months of 2002 in England and Wales.

Up 22.24% year on year, this represents a rate of growth stronger than previous Land Registry surveys and consistent with other agencies' reports.

Property turnover also increased, undermining the theory that many prospective deals were being put on ice amid economic uncertainty.

The Land Registry reported that 295,503 homes changed hands during the last quarter of 2002, up 3.5% on the same period of 2001.

London slows...

However, there was a hint in the report of a cooling in the market.

Although the average house price was up year on year, it was actually slightly lower than the figure in the July to September quarter.

While some commentators have attributed this to seasonal factors, others believe it may reflect the softening in the market for expensive London homes.

Average national price increased by 22.24% from 118,827 in 2001 to 145,251
Greater London property price increased by 18.84% from 203,499 in 2001 to 241,838
Sales increased by 3.45% from 285,653 in 2001 to 295,503

London, where house prices are the highest in Britain, was the slowest-growing region in the Land Registry survey.

Prices in capital were up 18.8% year on year, and the number of 1m-plus properties changing hands halved.

... while others race away

But if London is starting to come off the boil, the rest of the country is more than making up for it.

The East Midlands topped the fast-growing charts, with house prices there up 28.2%, just ahead of the South West on 28%.

The most expensive place to buy a house remained the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where the average house cost 581,561.

The cheapest place to buy was Blaenau Gwent in Wales, where houses cost an average of 41,529.

All regions

East Anglia: The average home now costs 138,346. Prices increased by 23.64% in the year to December.

South West: Property prices rose by 28.03% in the year to December - the second strongest region in England and Wales.

The average home now costs 157,043 compared to 112,172 a year ago.

East Midlands: Property prices rose fastest in this region, compared to all other regions of England and Wales. Property prices rose by 28.22% over the last year.

The average home now costs 110,853 compared to 86,458 a year ago.

West Midlands: Prices have risen by 22.90%.

The average property now costs 118,504 - up from 96,420 a year ago.

Yorks & Humber: Property prices rose by 22.23% on average in the year to December.

The average property now costs 91,458 - up from 75,602 a year ago.

Wales: Prices rose by 22.30% in the year to December.

The average home now costs 89,342 compared to 73,051 a year ago.

South East: Property prices rose by on average 22.59% last year.

The average home now costs 187,830.

Average prices have increased from 153,214 a year ago.

North West: Property prices rose by an average 20.97% in the year to December.

The average home now costs 91,458 - up from 75,602 a year ago.

Greater London: Property prices rose by an average 18.84% in the year to December.

As a region Greater London experienced the slowest house prices rises over the last year.

The average home now costs 241,838 - up from 203,499 a year ago.

North: Prices rose by 20.26%. The average home now costs 82,940 - up from 68,966 a year ago.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jenny Scott
"Buying a house is becoming increasingly difficult"
John Wrigglesworth, housing economist
"I am confident that the housing market will remain healthy albeit slower"

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10 Feb 03 | Business
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