London house prices beat North

Average house prices in Britain finished 2011 at £221,331, down a modest £854, or 0.23 per cent, from the same time one year ago. In London the average home is now worth £416,890, up £9,283 (2.28 per cent) from a year ago, Zoopla.co.uk said. The North East was the worst performing region over the past year with average house prices falling 5.77 per cent to £156,659. Scotland outperformed the rest of Britain in 2011, recorded an average increase of 6.73 per cent. The London market is expected to outpace the rest of the country next year, though relatively sluggish growth of 1.9 per cent is forecast by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, as a 38 per cent crash in City bonuses is set to wipe out billions of pounds that bankers traditionally use to buy real estate. An 8.5 per cent fall in City jobs will also contribute. The top end of the London market will grow at four per cent, Jones Lang LaSalle said in its forecasts, but this depends heavily on overseas buyers.