South East beats London house price growth

Surveying firm e.surv published data suggesting the annual rate of property price growth has halved since last summer, down to 5.3% in April, bringing the average house price to £275,961.

Meanwhile first quarter sales were down 10% before the general election though the firm predicted that the Conservative majority provided “new certainty” which was likely to “reset the balance”.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “House price growth has jolted awake again in April, climbing 0.2% (£600) in the past month, following what was a more lethargic period for property values.

“The direction of travel is clear and accelerating – and most importantly, momentum is picking up where it was lacking before.”

The South East and East Anglia edged ahead of London with the strongest year-on-year increase in property values of all regions across the country, at 7.1% and 6.9% respectively.

In contrast, annual growth in London has shrunk from 9.0% in February to just 6.8% in March 2015.

Sexton said: “This is the first time for nearly four and a half years that London has not been leading the pack in terms of regional house price growth, as higher stamp duty rates take some of the shine off high-end properties in prime central areas.

“In the City of Westminster, where the average property is now worth £1,382,965, prices dropped 5.2% during the month of March, as pre-election speculation about a mansion tax put a dampener on enthusiasm for the most exclusive London homes.”

London also saw the sharpest decline in completed home sales between Q1 2015 and the same period a year ago, falling 16.5%.

Sexton added: “Election uncertainty has now vanished, so arguably London’s property market could see a fresh boost.”

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