Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Property registrations at Land Registry plummet by over a quarter

The number of residential property sales received for registrations fell by more than a quarter between January and February, Land Registry data shows.

 Data for February shows there were 79,203 residential sales submitted for registration, down from 108,842 in January, a 27% drop.

 Of the registrations in the report, the Land Registry said 23,559 sales had taken place in February itself, of which 378 were for £1m and over.

 The Land Registry said 216 sales were for properties in Greater London for more than £1m, while there were two sales in Cardiff for over £1m and one in Manchester.

 The most expensive residential sale in February was a terrace property in Kensington & Chelsea for £10.7m, while the cheapest was a terrace property in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, for £19,000.

Meanwhile, Nationwide has reported that house price growth was “subdued” in March.

Its House Price Index for March shows that annual growth slowed from 2.2% in February to 2.1%, leaving average values at £211,625.

It was described as the third consecutive month of annual falls, with a fall of 0.2% in March. 

However, looking at the non-seasonally adjusted numbers, prices were actually up annually by 2.08% and up monthly from £210,402 in February to £211,625 in March.

Regionally, London was the only part of the UK to register a fall in average prices, with an annual drop of 0.5% to £473,776.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Overall, we expect house prices to be broadly flat, with a marginal gain of around 1% over the course of 2018.”

Commenting on the figures, Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “This is another survey demonstrating the relatively volatile nature of the present housing market – up one month, down the next – as buyers and sellers come to terms with new market realities.

“Clearly prices are softening in some areas more than others and people are moving much less often because it is so expensive to do so. It is only those who are recognising the change in market conditions who are getting on with moving.”

The Nationwide figures come as mortgage approvals dipped in February, overturning a six-month high reached in January.

Bank of England data shows there were 63,910 mortgage approvals for house purchase in February, down 4.7% from the 67,110 reported the month before. It is also below the previous six-month average of 65,162.

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