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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

House prices in England and Wales hit new record high

House prices in England and Wales returned to growth in May, pushing the average property value to a new all-time high of £303,200.

Across England and Wales, home prices have increased by £13,934, or 4.8%, over the last year - this was a rise on the previous month’s 3.5%, according to the latest House Price Index from Your Move.

The company said house prices rose by a rather impressive 0.3% month-on-month in May, despite the general election uncertainty, as housing market activity remained relatively strong, up 6% on April, with an estimated 62,500 homes changing hands.

Once again, property sales were rather sluggish in London, the South East and East of England.

Transactions in high-priced areas such as Greater London and the South East, for instance, are down by 19% and 7% respectively.

But the slowdown in the south of England was offset by more resilient performance in the north of England.

Transactions in the North East rose by 10%, followed by 7% growth in Yorks & Humberside, a 6% rise in the North West and West Midlands, while the East Midlands saw growth of 4%.

Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said: “There was a lot of talk about housing from the parties in their election manifestos; it’s now time for those words to be put into action.

“The market remains resilient and there’s encouraging activity in the North, but we need to urgently address the serious blockages in housebuilding holding back labour mobility and economic competitiveness in too many areas of the country.”

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