Land Registry figures show property prices up 0.8% in December

The average price of a property in the UK rose to £162,080 in December 2012, up 0.8% on the £161,490 recorded for November, according to figures from the Land Registry today. The annual price change for UK properties is 1.7%.

The best performing region was London where house prices rose 3.1% on a monthly basis and by 8.4% over the course of the year. The Land Registry’s House Price Index for December shows the average price of property in the capital stands at £371,223. The second largest monthly increase was in the North East where prices rose 1.9% while the second largest annual increase was the South East, where prices rose 3%. The region with the greatest annual fall in property prices was the North West with a movement of minus 3.5%. The North West experienced the largest monthly decrease as prices fell 0.9% in December.

Capital Economics property economist Matthew Pointon says, while 2012 finished on something of a high, the market is being held back by a lack of mortgage financing and anticipated weak GDP growth in 2013.

He says: “There are already indications that this strength may be short-lived. The latest data on mortgage approvals for house purchase by banks showed that the recent growth in lending has apparently stalled. Although it is too early to say that the Funding for Lending scheme has run its course, it does serve to highlight that a lack of mortgage finance is the only one factor holding back the housing market.”