Nationwide released its House Price Index report for the first quarter of 2012 last week. It shows that seven of the thirteen regions of the UK recorded house price growth, with London the area with the highest rises. The average price of a property in the UK for Q1 was £162,722. This is an annual percentage change of 0.2%. The quarterly change was a slight fall of -0.1%.
Over the last quarter the North recorded the highest percentage change in house prices. The average house price in the North over the first three months of 2012 was £114,828. This is a quarterly change of 0.6%. Only one other area recorded a quarterly increase. This area is Scotland, where the average price for the quarter is £135,242 (this is an increase of 0.5%). The Outer Metropolitan, where the average house price is £243,969 showed no quarterly change.
The area with the biggest recorded quarterly percentage decrease is Wales. The average house price here is £129,682, which leads to a quarterly change of -3.1%. Northern Ireland is the only other area to record a quarterly percentage decrease of more than one percent, with a -2.1% change.
London recorded a quarterly average house price of £293,375. This is an annual increase of 2.3%. The outer South East shows an average price of £196,067, a yearly rise of 1.8%. Other areas with annual house price increases are East Anglia (1.2%), Outer Metropolitan (1.0%), the North (0.8%), the South West (0.4%) and the East Midlands (0.4%).
Northern Ireland recorded the biggest decrease in annual house prices. The quarterly average house price in this area is £109,562, which is a -8.9% yearly change. Other areas which recorded negative annual changes are Wales (-2.9%), the North West (-2.2%), Yorkshire and Humberside (-2.1%), Scotland (-0.2%) and the West Midlands (-0.1%).
These figures show that there is still a north-south divide in the UK housing market. Those areas in the south, and in particular the south east of the UK are outperforming the other regions.
Although seven of the thirteen areas recorded annual house price growth, only two areas saw positive quarterly changes. This suggests that prices are beginning to stabilise, or drop slightly.
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