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LAND REGISTRY PUBLISHES LATEST RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY PRICES

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The Land Registry today published the latest in its series of quarterly residential property price reports, coverin...
The Land Registry today published the latest in its series of quarterly residential property price reports, covering the period January - March, 1998.

Also published on the same day is the Registry's annual review,

providing information on the volume of sales and average property

prices for 1997 and comparisons with 1996.

The report for the first quarter of 1998 compares average prices and

volume of sales with those for the same period in 1997, illustrating

trends over the past year. It incorporates a breakdown of the average

sale prices of old versus new properties, by property type.

The data, which covers the whole of England and Wales, are broken

down by property type and county, to include the new unitary

authorities introduced on April 1, 1997. The figures also incorporate

average property prices and volume of sales withing greater London,

broken down by individual London boroughs.

Sales in this context are taken to mean the transfer of ownership for

value of freehold or long leasehold properties, whether or not the

purchase was supported by a mortgage.

No weighting or adjustment is applied to the information collected to

reflect any seasonal or other factors. The price data can be said to

be actual, unadjusted averages drawn from the great majority of all

residential sales in England and Wales completed during the period.

As highlighted in the quarterly report, 12 new unitary authorities

were created on April 1, 1997. When considering price movements in

those counties affected by these boundary changes, to bear in mind

the creation of these new authorities - direct comparisons may not be

meaningful.

These Land Registry reports are intended to complement information

available from other sources. Any comparison with other data should

have regard to the differences in volume, timeliness and coverage of

contributing transactions.

The Land Registry is also able to provide 'bespoke reports' on

request, for which a fee is charged. These show aggregated data for

any local authority district in England and Wales; any postcode area

(eg GL); any postcode district (eg GL1); or any postcode sector

(eg GL1 2).

The report for the quarter January - March, 1998 demonstrates a

number of developments within the property market for England and

Wales:

- 40% of the volume of sales and 53% of the total value are accounted

for by London and the South East

- a relatively modest price increase in London and the South East has

led to a small (0.6%) increase in the average house price for the

whole of England and Wales

- when London and the South East are excluded, the average price for

the rest of England and Wales has dropped slightly

- when comparing the first quarter of 1997 with the first quarter of

1998, the average all properties price in England and Wales has

increased by 9.4%

- over the same period the volume of sales has decreased by 3.7%

Turning to the 1997 annual review:

- within average price bands, the highest volume of sales moved up

from£40,001-£50,000 to£50,001-£60,000

- the highest average prices paid in 1997 were for properties Within

Greater London postcode sectors

- conversely the lowest average prices paid during 1997 were in North

and Mid Wales postcode sectors

- in 1997 average prices for new properties were significantly higher

than for existing (older) properties

- 24.8% of all sales in 1997 were completed without a morgage

(compared with 23.6% in 1996 and 24.1% in 1995)

The Land Registry internet site contains a full copy of both of these

new reports and all previous reports, together with other useful

information on the work of the Land Registry. It can be accessed on:

http://www.open.gov.uk/landreg/home.htm

The principal aims of the Land Registry are:

- to maintain and develop a stable and effective land registration

system in England and Wales, as a cornerstone for the creation and

free movement of interests in land

- on behalf of the Crown, to guarantee title to registered estates

and interests in land for the whole of England and Wales

- to provide ready access to up-to-date and guaranteed information,

so enabling confident dealings in property and security of title

- to achieve progressively improving performance targets set by the

chancellor, so that high quality services are delivered promptly

and at lower cost to users.

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