House prices inflation is at its slowest rate for nine years but first-time buyer properties still come at a premium, suggest the latest figures from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Latest statistics indicate house prices rose 2.2% in October from a year ago, compared with 3.3% in September, however, this is markedly lower than first-time buyer homes, which saw prices rise by 5% per annum in October.
The average house price is now reported to be lower than the previous month at £186,103 - thanks largely to a fall in the value of London-based properties - but the ODPM ifigures indicate the average English house price could top £200,00 in 2006.
Most of the growth inflation in October was seen in the north east, Yourkshire and the Humber - along with other regions which in recent months have performed best - compared with the South and east which have seen little change in house price inflation, says the ODPM.
In contrast, data presented by chartered surveyor estate agents through the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors suggests the market is showing signs of improvement across the country in the past month as buyers are thought to be returning to the market.
RICS predicts an upturn in housing market activity in 2006 “as the economy pulls out of the slowdown of the past year”.IFAonline
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