Land Registry says house prices grew modestly over December

Ben Southwood
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HOUSE prices climbed upwards at a stately pace in December, consolidating modest yearly gains, according to data out yesterday.

Housing was 0.8 per cent more expensive in the final month of 2012 than it was in November, the Land Registry said, capping off a yearly increase of 1.7 per cent.

As it has throughout the post-recession years, London drove most of England and Wales’ gains, with prices soaring 3.1 per cent in just a month. Over the year London’s housing got 8.4 per cent more expensive, significantly above the pace of growth in England and Wales as a whole.

“Despite the sluggish summer months, 2012 marked a year of recovery for house prices and ended strongly given the currently bleak economic outlook,” said LSL Property Services boss David Newnes.

He hailed the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) as buoying the market by giving buyers access to cheaper finance. But Newnes warned that the overall picture looked excessively rosy because of the massive impact of the booming London market.

“The increasingly large wedge between the south and north of the country...won’t begin to close until we see a vibrant first-time buyer market across the country,” Newnes added.