According to the latest Land Registry figures – which covers all completed sales in England and Wales, house prices are continuing to fall.
The survey showed the average house price fell by 1.1% in March to £160,996 – 2.3% lower than figures taken from last year.
However, data from Nationwide painted a different picture, suggesting prices had remained “fairly static” since the end of 2010.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England’s mortgage approval figures indicate that property sales could increase. House prices have fallen every month since August 2010 apart from in January, after a slight increase was recorded.
Many home owners looking to sell have seen an influx of cash buyers – an attractive breed of buyers that offer an attractive option for sellers.
This new trend appears to be lead by the older generation who are looking to downsize and pocket the difference from previous purchases during the boom times.
One home buyer – Terry White, explained that this payment method ‘reduces hassle’ and offers ‘a good place for investment’.
“Once my children grew up and moved out, I was left with a 4 bedroom house with a large summerhouse in a sought after part of London,”
“I decided that it was time to move on – if I sell my house, I could invest in other properties.”, said Mr White.
“By offering cash I was able to simplify things, as I was not relying on funding to purchase a new property, making me more attractive to sellers.”In the last year, the only city to see a rise in prices was London, up 0.8%.
Prices in the North East fell by more than 9%, while Wales also saw a 7% fall.
The survey carried out by Nationwide, which included a group of its own customers, suggests that house prices in the UK fell by just 0.2% last month, which would leave them down by 1.3% for 2011.
However, the lender added that despite prices falling in 3 of the last 6 months, they rose in the other 3.
‘Property sales to increase’
Other figures from the Bank of England suggest that property sales will see a boost in coming months.
The number of mortgages approved – but not yet completed, saw an increase by almost 1000 in March.