House prices across England and Wales increased by an average 2.9 per cent in the first half of 2006, the latest Hometrack survey has revealed.
London spearheaded the increases, with prices up 1.1 per cent last month alone, almost twice the national average of 0.6 per cent in June.
“Looking back over the first six months of the year there is a stark difference in performance between London and the rest of the country,” said Richard Donnell, Hometrack director of research.
“The major imbalance between supply and demand in London has caused prices to rise by almost six per cent whilst growth in four regions has been less than one per cent.
“The differentials in growth reflect the fact that the London housing market significantly under-performed the rest of the market between 2001 and mid-2005.
Mortgage approvals are also up, fuelled both by new purchases and by homeowners taking advantage of the competitive market to compare mortgage rate deals.
Other positive indicators for the housing market include the number of sales increasing eight per cent in June and property staying on the market for a week less than last year’s average.
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