House prices increase by 1.8% year-on-year

The fortunes of the UK’s housing market have been mixed in 2012, with both rises and falls recorded in the year to date.

The recent House Price Index, from the Office for National Statistics, points to an upturn in the market, with data revealing that property prices across England and Wales shot up by 1.8% in August, in a year-on-year comparison.

The Index also highlighted that while property prices are continuing to climb in London, the reverse is taking place in the North.

Regional figures showed a 0.5% fall in both the East Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber, while property prices rose by a staggering 6.3% in the capital.

Property price rises in England (2.1%) also outpaced those in Wales (1.4%) and Scotland (0.5%), while house prices in Northern Ireland plummeted by 12.8%.

Price rises were also recorded in both new and pre-owned dwellings in the 12 months to August 2012, up by 3% and 1.7% respectively.

First-time buyers also paid out an average of 2.9% more for properties compared to 2011, while owner-occupiers saw prices increase by 1.4% over the same period.

Average house prices in August 2012 stood at £242,000 in England, £161,000 in Wales, £129,000 in Northern Ireland and £184,000 in Scotland.

Recent figures from Nationwide painted a less positive picture of the UK’s housing market, revealing that property prices had taken a surprise dip in September,

The data shows that house prices fell by 0.4% last month, 1.4% lower than the level recorded in September 2011, departing from economists’ predictions that prices would remain unchanged month-on-month, and falling by 0.8% year-on-year.

However, the latest monthly survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that house prices are falling at a lower than expected rate.

The industry body’s seasonally adjusted house price balance rose to -19 in August, from a revised figure of -23 in July, with surveyors reporting less falls in July and also highlighting that prices had stabilised.

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