House prices rise by 3 per cent in 2012 despite flat December

 
Ben Southwood
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HOUSE PRICES were flat in December, but rose overall in 2012, according to data published today.

Despite the lack of change between November and December, the average house price was 3.2 per cent higher last month than a year before, according to the LSL house price index.

The rise adds £7,000 to the average property’s value.

The finding cements a general picture of housing market improvement in 2012, coming from a range of house price indices, including Rightmove and LSL – which was the most optimistic.

Nationwide, Halifax and Hometrack’s indices however showed slight decline for the year.

Separately, data from Zoopla, also released this morning, added to the evidence that despite economic hardship, many property owners saw their wealth balloon.

The total value of UK housing climbed £57bn during 2012, the property website said, bringing British housing wealth to £5.96 trillion – an increase of roughly one per cent.

Of this total £57bn, some £42.4bn – 74.4 per cent – came from property in the capital, where values continued to boom past pre-recession highs, shaking off the downturn challenging markets across the rest of the country.