New UK house price gloom descends

The London/South East property gap continues to lengthen. Latest Land Registry figures claims that the average house prices in North East England - an area knocked hard by public spending cuts - has tumbled below the psychologically important £100,000 threshold.

Yet upmarket London boroughs like Westminster saw a 9% rise in values last year.

North East hit yet again

Hartlepool home owners have been thumped hardest, with an astonishing -17.5% dip in average house selling prices in the last year. Trailing not so far this County Durham town behind was Merthyr Tydfil (-10%) and Carmarthenshire (-9.9%).

"Price index volatility is greater in areas where recorded sales volumes are low," says the Land Registry. "Index volatility leads to erratic and high changes in reported price."

Land Registry figures

Hotspots were few. Despite all the Olympics fuss, the London borough of Newham recorded a -2.5% slump over the last year while near-neighbour Hackney was 3.8% up. Central and West London saw more impressive rises, with Kensington and Chelsea rising 7.2%. In December, Slough saw the highest monthly surge, with prices climbing 1.8%.

Treading water

The annual change now stands at -1.3% said the Land Registry, a figure which has not risen above zero since December 2010. This brings the average house price in England and Wales to £160,384.

The number of property transactions has decreased over the last year says the Land Registry. "In July to October 2010, there was an average of 61,274 sales per month. In the same months this year, the figure was 60,764 sales per month."

Land Registry figures
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