Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

House prices down 15.1% in a year

House keys
The survey is one of few that give regional analysis

House prices in England and Wales in January were 15.1% lower than a year earlier, says the Land Registry.

The figures from the survey, widely regarded as the most authoritative, reveal that prices dropped by 0.8% in January compared with December.

This is the 17th month in a row that average prices have fallen, following 21 successive months of price rises.

The average property cost 156,753, with Wales and the South West of England seeing the sharpest falls.

Prices in Wales dropped by a dramatic 8.8% fall in the month, although the Land Registry warned that this was unlikely to mirror the underlying trend in the country.

Sales slump

The number of people choosing to buy a home during the uncertain economic climate continued to nosedive, the survey also revealed.

Prices by region
East Midlands: 125,429 (annual fall 14.4%)
East: 166,619 (down 14.5%)
Yorkshire and the Humber: 126,665 (down 13.6%)
London: 306,183 (down 14.1%)
South East: 193,429 (down 16.1%)
North East: 113,962 (down 12.7%)
North West: 118,609 (down 14%)
West Midlands: 131,715 (down 14.3%)
South West: 164,515 (down 16.6%)
Wales: 114,990 (down 19.7%)
Source: Land Registry figures for January

There were an average of 41,014 sales in England and Wales each month between August and November last year, down from 106,495 during the same period a year earlier.

Claims of an oversupply of new-build apartments, especially in city centres, were strengthened by the figures, which showed that prices of flats had fallen by 17.3% in a year to an average of 145,384 in January.

This was the sector with the biggest drop in value, followed by terraced houses (down 16%), semi-detached homes (15.7%), and detached houses (12.2%).

Every region in England and Wales has seen property prices fall by at least 12% in the last year, although the survey found that values had risen slightly in the East Midlands (0.3%) and the East of England (0.1%) in January.

Breaking the numbers down to more of a local level revealed that every area in England and Wales saw house prices dip in the year to January.

This ranged from a 3.5% fall in the Vale of Glamorgan to a reduction of 20.7% in Blaenau Gwent. The more volatile monthly figures showed prices rose the most in Redcar and Cleveland (3.8%) and fell the most in Caerphilly (4.5%).

The downturn has affected activity at the two extremes of the property market, the Land Registry said.

In November 2008, there were 5,725 sales of homes priced between 50,000 and 100,000 - down 52%.

Some 219 homes priced at more than 1m were sold in the same month - down 65%.

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