UK house prices up on rising London property market

The property market in London is showing signs of demand that had not been seen before the recent property crash as key indicators reached levels last seen in 2007.

The proportion of the asking price achieved for London properties now stood at over 95 per cent, the level last seen six years ago.

Also the length of time a property spent on the market in London, before its sale was down to 4.6 weeks – a level reached last in October 2007.

The fact that property sale waiting time in London was at almost half the national rate came as an indicator of the increasing divide between the relatively vibrant property market in the capital and the rest of the country.

The positive figures were published today in the latest housing survey from property analysts Hometrack, showing average prices in London rose by 0.7 per cent in April, as against a nationwide gain of just 0.3 per cent.

According to Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, the real driver of price rises in April had been the London market, where demand had grown three times faster than supply over the last quarter.

The strongest increases over the month were seen in North London and south-west London, at 1.3 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. The next highest levels of growth outside were seen in Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, with 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent increases.

Meanwhile, house prices in England and Wales were up by 0.1 per cent in March, as against the  month before, with London's property market leading the regional increase once again.

The Land Registry's monthly index showed that the average UK house price stood at £161,793 in March, accounting for a 0.9 per cent annual increase.

London was the region with the biggest monthly swing, with the average price rising 2.5 per cent to £374,568.

Over the course of a year, London property prices were up 9.6 per cent.

"The most expensive sale in March 2013 was a property located in the London borough of Kensington which sold for over £12m," said Land Registry.

"The cheapest sale in March 2013 is located in Burnley, Lancashire and sold for £14,000."

January also saw as many as 1,317 repossessions as  as hard-pressed households felt the impact of the sluggish UK economy.