Friday, August 10, 2012
Housing market picks up
Posted by David Smith at 08:45 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Probably more important than the fact that house prices rose by 0.2% in July, and were 3.2% on a year earlier, is that transactions rose by 11% after falling back in Jubilee-affected June. according to the latest LSL-Acadametrics house price index.

The index, the most comprehensive timely measure of the market, notes wide regional variations. According to LSL:

"There is by no means a consistent picture across the country. While the average national price has climbed, less prosperous areas such as Hartlepool have seen prices fall by 8.3% in the last 12 months, reflecting lenders’ caution in areas with weaker local economies where higher levels of unemployment may threaten borrowers’ finances.

“In contrast, London’s market is going from strength to strength. House prices in 10 London boroughs have hit new highs, with Kensington & Chelsea seeing capital gains of 38% since last June. While the figures may be flattered by comparison to last year’s hangover after the introduction of the stamp duty in April on properties worth more than £1m, money is pouring into prime areas from cash buyers and international investors looking to store their wealth in bricks and mortar. As demand from wealthy buyers continues and first-time buyer numbers remain subdued, the gap between the opposite ends of the market remains.” The index is here.

Also announced today. The John Lewis Partnership said department store sales were 22.4% up on a year ago, benefiting from an Olympic uplift.