January 2015 experienced the most substantial increase in house prices since the summer, but London properties fell into negative territory for the first time since 2009.
The latest figures from the Land Registry show that house prices went up by 1.3 percent in England and Wales, with the average home now having a sale value of £179,492 . There was an annual increase of 6.7 percent, which is a gradual decrease from the 8.2 percent reached in August. The summer figure represented the greatest annual growth since the financial crisis.
The monthly increase was not driven by activity in London, which was one of three regions where property values actually fell. Prices went down 0.2 percent in the capital, while the North East experienced a similar reduction and Yorkshire and Humber saw a 1.5 percent drop.
The North West experienced the biggest increase, with prices going up by 2.6 percent in January. The South West saw a 1.5 percent rise while the East went up by 1.4 percent.
London has not commenced a new year with lowered house prices since January 2009, when the financial crisis caused values to fall by 1.5 percent. But in terms of annual growth, the capital still leads the way with 12 percent value being added in the last year.
The London reductions have been caused primarily by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where prices fell 1.9 percent in January. It is also the only borough to experience single-digit growth over the year, although it remains the most expensive one to buy in, with the average home selling for almost £1.3million. Interest in the area may be waning because the new stamp duty makes it more expensive to buy seven-figure properties.
Outside of London, the greatest increase in house prices took place in Thurrock, Essex, which is within easy commuting distance of the capital. Property values climbed by 16 percent in the past year.