Housing continued its recovery in June but it may face troubles

Ben Southwood
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HOUSE PRICES continued to recover steadily in June, driven by a robust London market, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday, but data for July suggests the recovery might be short-lived.

Prices rose an average of 2.3 per cent across the UK in the year to June, equal to the steady climb during the year to May, said the latest ONS house price index, propping up the picture painted by other indices of the June market.

The sticky recovery from the crash continued to be driven by a booming London market, which saw a 6.5 per cent uptick in mix-adjusted average prices. Prices in the rest of England were also headed upward, with all regions barring the North East seeing increases.

But England’s overall 2.8 per cent incline was offset by yet another fall in Northern Ireland, this time of 11.9 per cent, a slip of one per cent in Scotland, and flat prices in Wales.

“Although the economy is in a fragile state...a shortage of property is underpinning prices,” explained David Newnes at LSL property services.

“With mortgage lending still subdued, wealthier buyers are the key driving force at the minute, with sales activity being dominated by the equity rich,” he added.

Also released yesterday was a report by Marsh & Parsons, the London estate agent, claiming that the Olympics failed to put a damper on London’s recovering property market.

Though 30 per cent fewer registered during the Olympic 17 days than had done in the same period in 2011, and though there were 22 per cent fewer viewings than last year, 23 per cent more sales were agreed.