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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 00:05 GMT
House prices up 3.5% on the year
For sale and sold signs stacked away
Property sales are on the slide, the Land Registry says
House prices have risen over the past year despite a dip in the number of sales, Land Registry figures show.

Prices were 3.5% higher for the three months to September than at the same time last year - standing at an average of 194,589.

This compares with an annual increase of 16.3% seen in September 2004.

Meanwhile, the number of houses sold in England and Wales for the three months to September stood at 261,481, 15% lower than a year previously.

Overall, the biggest rise in prices was seen in the north of England and Wales. The south of England and the Midlands had the slowest growth.

House prices in London rose 4.47%, the strongest performance for some time.

Slight pick-up

Land Registry figures are generally not as up-to-date as those of banks and building societies, because they record completions and not mortgage approvals.

However, the figures are viewed as the most accurate measure of house prices, because they include all property transactions.

Recent surveys from the Halifax and Nationwide have suggested a slight pick-up in house prices.

Last week the Halifax said annual house price inflation had risen for the third month in a row.

Prices for the three months to the end of October were up 2.9% compared with the previous three month period, Halifax said.

"The recent upturn in agreed sale prices is unlikely to be fully evident in the Land Registry statistics until the fourth quarter," Milan Khatri chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.

"RICS expects the upturn in housing activity to be sustained, supported by steady growth in the number of jobs and incomes," Mr Khatri added.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES BY REGION
Region Jul-Sept 2004 Jul-Sept 2005 Price increase %
Wales 135,162 145,188 7.42%
Yorkshire 133,552 141,188 6.01%
North 123,606 130,948 5.94%
North West 133,878 139,929 4.52%
Greater London 287,470 300,329 4.47%
South East 227,991 234,833 3.00%
East Anglia 174,949 180,053 2.92%
East Midlands 151,405 155,630 2.79%
West Midlands 159,203 161,076 1.18%
South West 201,156 202,249 0.54%
England & Wales 187,971 194,589 3.52%
Source: Land Registry




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