London’s housing boom keeps driving national price growth

 
Ben Southwood
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<a href="/house-prices">House prices in London</a> and the south east rose quickly in the year to April 2012, contrasting starkly with stagnation or even deflation elsewhere, according to official data published yesterday.

An increase of 4.9 per cent in the average London house price, to £388,000, and a 2.1 per cent rise in the south east, drove an uptick of 1.7 per cent in England as a whole.

The data also showed the proportion of first time buyers shot up to 43 per cent of all purchases in March, as buyers scrambled to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, which expired at the end of the month.

That boom rapidly dropped away and first-time buyers accounted for 32 per cent of purchases in April, close to their long-term average.