London behind UK-wide boom in house prices

Ben Southwood
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HOUSE PRICES and the number of transactions both climbed in August, driven by a booming London, according to data released by LSL property services today.

Housing transactions grew 2.5 per cent in August, hitting a new high for the year so far, while average prices were up 2.6 per cent on the year, the data for England and Wales showed.

“The housing market demonstrated its resilience in August, as both house prices and sales activity rose, highlighting the underlying demand from buyers,” said David Newnes at LSL.

“However, it’s not a homogenous picture across England and Wales,” he went on, “With wealthier investors playing a pivotal role in the national housing market, there is an increasing divide between the North and South.”

Prices in Greater London were on average 10.5 per cent up on the previous year, over the past three months. This figure was down from 12.3 per cent, but still led the country by a wide margin – next placed was the South East, where prices were on average up 2.8 per cent on the year, during June, July and August. In many regions further North prices were going in the opposite direction.

Even within London there was significant divergence. Booming Kensington and Chelsea saw prices explode 31.6 per cent, to an average of £1.4m, whereas Barking and Dagenham was alone in that prices actually decreased, inching down 0.1 per cent to £177,717 on average.