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Property prices rise for fourth month running

By Nicky Burridge

Published 30/11/2009

House prices rose for the fourth month in a row during November but there are signs the pace of the recovery may begin to ease in the months ahead, research shows today.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales increased by 0.2% in November to stand at £156,700, according to housing intelligence group Hometrack.

But the group said the recovery had been driven by rising demand, and it warned that there were signs the rush of potential buyers coming to the market was beginning to falter.

Estate agents reported only a 0.1% rise in the number of new buyers registered on their books during November, and demand is expected to drop off further in the run-up to Christmas.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said: “The pick-up in market activity over 2009 has been driven by rising demand yet the latest survey shows that new buyer registrations grew by just 0.1% in November, the lowest level since the start of the year.

“A decline in demand is inevitable in the run-up to Christmas but there are signs that the upward pressure on prices is likely to decline in the months ahead.”

He added that the recent pick- up in prices and activity had not been seen across the whole country.

He said: “The stark reality is that there are large swathes of the country where prices have remained unchanged or have seen continued price falls.”

Prices rose by 0.4% in London during November and by 0.3% in the South West, but all other regions saw gains of just 0.1% or no change.

The percentage of their asking price that sellers are achieving rose again during November to 93.2%, but the average time a property is taking to sell has stalled at 8.4 weeks, after falling for the past nine months.

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