House prices in Great Britain increased by 1.26% in the last quarter of 2013 to an average of £246,781. This was largely supported by rises in the South and the Midlands as property prices in the North of the country dropped. The average asking price in the East Midlands reached the highest level for five years in November, hitting £182,505.
At a regional level, Greater London, the South East and the East Midlands were the top performing regions in Q4 2013 in terms of asking price. Greater London was top of the leader board as usual, as asking prices increased by 4.68% in Q4. The South East and The East Midlands followed, as asking prices rose by 1.03% and 0.65% respectively.
Greater London continued to operate in its own bubble with the average property price increasing £52,535 in 2013. In the capital, selling times remain the fastest in the country although property listings were down 43% compared to Q3 and 7.55% when compared to December 2012.
The figures from Move with Us, the residential property group, also revealed a 48% drop in new listings for the whole of Great Britain from Q3. Whilst the market experiences a seasonal dip each year in December, listings in a year on year comparison are the lowest on record at 48,009, 7.48% down on December 2012.
Robin King, Director, Move with Us commented: “Although 2013 ended with a decline in the number of new listings due to the seasonal Christmas slowdown, the market has quickly picked up momentum and we are already seeing larger numbers of property transactions since the start of 2014.”
“The problem right now is the shortage in the supply of new properties coming on to the market. While the government has incentivised building projects by providing a £1bn fund to unlock housing developments, these are predominantly located in the North of the country in places such as Manchester and Leeds. Supply also needs to be stimulated in regions such as East Anglia and the South West and in places where there’s considerably higher demand for housing such as the South East, one of the most popular commuter routes into the capital.”
“The government could consider tax efficient ways to incentivise people with surplus space in their homes to downsize as this would free up family homes and create much needed fluidity in the market. Motivating people to sell second homes will also release existing stock back into the housing market. However, larger scale development is really where the difference can be made, like in the great depression of the 1930s when we managed to build 400,000 new properties per year.”