July 2015 - England & Wales House Price Index
Strongest July for home sales since 2007
- Monthly sales surpass 2014 levels for first time this year – following 13% boost in July, and driven by growth in North
- House price rises accelerating across six regions – and East Anglia leads the way with 6.3% annual increase
- Crossrail investment pushes Reading property prices up by 15.2% in the past year, the fastest rise across the country
Adrian Gill, director of Your Move estate agents, comments: “The property market may have moved down a gear, but house prices are still putting one foot in front of the other. These more pedestrian monthly price rises of late have nonetheless carried the average house price past the checkered flag, to a new record £279,515. Six regions of England and Wales have seen accelerations in the rate of house price growth, with East Anglia moving into the fast lane after an annual rise of 6.3%. The housing recovery is cruising along comfortably across the country, and in 27% of the local authority areas of England property prices are at new peak levels – encompassing Warrington, the West Midlands, Milton Keynes, Bristol, and Devon.
“House prices in Reading have seen the steepest rise over the past year, up 15.2%. On the route of the new London Crossrail, property values here are already stepping on the gas to capitalise on direct train lines into the City of London from 2019, and the average price for a flat has soared 20% over the last twelve months, to reach £215,000.
“After spearheading house price growth for the past five years, London has been knocked off pole position and now falls eighth out of the ten regions in England and Wales in terms of annual rises – ranking only above the North and Wales, with 1.8% price growth year-on-year in June 2015. This has halved from 3.6% in May, and this downtrend is now lowering the average growth for England and Wales as a whole. London has been stalled by more aggressive graduated Stamp Duty and taxation levied at the highest rungs of the property market, plus the rising value of Sterling compared to the Euro. London property sales in the month of June were 13% lower than a year previously – and in the most expensive boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, sales during Q2 were down 33% and 31% respectively year-on-year. However, there are some indications that we are pulling out of the hard shoulder now, and prices are rallying at these top tiers, with property values recording healthy monthly rises of 2.3% in Kensington and Chelsea and 2.1% and Westminster.
“Overall home sales reached 90,000 in July, a boost of 13% from the previous month. This marks the first time this year that sales levels have overtaken the equivalent month in 2014 – and is actually the strongest July since 2007, when the market was building up to its pre-crisis peak. Sales were 35% higher then, standing at 120,845 in July 2007, but activity today is certainly making inroads after being mired in the General Election.