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Housing boom slows

08 August 2003
Official figures released today show that average house prices in England and Wales increased by 12.52 per cent.

Figures from the Land Registry show that the average house price in England and Wales increased from £133,247 in the three months to the end of June 2003, to £149,935.

However, the increase is substantially lower than 19.7 per cent increase recorded in the period between January and March 2003 and the 22.2 per cent recorded in 2002.

The slowest rate of growth in house prices were recorded in Greater London. House prices in the capital during the period only managed an average growth rate of 5.96 per cent. The average house in Greater London now stands at £246,710 compared to £232,830 in 2002.

The volume of sales in the capital decreased by 25.26 per cent from 38,681 between April and June in 2002 to 28,911 in 2003.

The highest rate of growth was recorded in the East Midlands where the average house price increased by 24.96 per cent. This was closely followed by the North which saw average increases of 24.15 per cent.

However, the rate of increases around the country are showing signs of cooling off as only two regions, Wales and the North of England, saw an increase in prices compared to the previous months.

The gradual slowing of the housing market, seen in the Land Registry's survey, reflects recent findings by the Halifax and Nationwide, which also reported a fall in activity across the market. Both surveys revealed that the number of first time buyers entering the housing market have fallen to their lowest levels for twenty years.