* Average prices in England and Wales reached £240,659 in May, rising 2.4% over the previous month.

* Prices in Prime London Central (PLC) breached the £1.5m barrier for the first time, increasing 10% since April.

* Transactions over £5m increased by 80% over May 2012; meanwhile those over £1m rose 15%.

* The most expensive sale was a terraced house on Upper Brook Street, The City of Westminster for £27m.

* The cheapest was located in Ferndale, Rhondda Gynon Taff, South Wales. A flat which sold for £10,000.

Good news for home owners and investors alike this month as, across the country, the improving economy has given the property market a boost. Increasing availability of credit, marginal rises in employment and Osborne’s flagship help-to-buy scheme have all contributed to signs of growth in both transactions and prices.

London Central Portfolio’s analysis of just released Land Registry ATD data shows average prices in England and Wales reaching £240,659 – a 5% uplift over May 2012. Transactions were equally encouraging, rising 4% over the preceding month.

Whilst a very strong performance in Prime London Central (PLC) hiked-up the look of the national figures, the average price with PLC excluded still showed growth of 4%, reaching an average price of £229,471.

Once again, the grand slam was won by PLC. Whilst overall transactions saw a slight rise of 3%, property prices grew 10% over the month. The average has now breached the £1.5m barrier for the first time to stand at a new high of £1,512,248.

These figures should be treated with caution, however. The performance has been buoyed by an increased number of high value sales above £5m. In this price segment, transactions rose from 15 to 27, representing an 80% increase over May 2012. In fact, throughout the UK, all but one sale above £5m took place in PLC. The most expensive sale was a terraced house located in Upper Brook Street, Westminster. This went for £27m. The most money paid outside the capital was £7,883,364 for a terrace house in Sandwell, West Bromwich.

Upper Brook Street London by Stacey Harris

Upper Brook Street London by Stacey Harris

A recent report by Zoopla Property Group showed a significant rise in property millionaires, with over 300,000 properties, in total, having crossed the threshold. Land Registry data also demonstrated a rise in £1m+ transactions of 15% since last year. Interestingly, however, only one sale above £5m took place on Zoopla’s ‘20 most expensive streets’ in May. This was on Grosvenor Crescent for £12.75m.

Whilst it is clear that there is no glass ceiling when it comes to prices in Prime London Central, it is worth noting that only 27 sales took place above £5m. With so few transactions every month in PLC (just 525 in May), these top-end deals do tend to mask real average prices. When these sales are excluded, the average price of property in PLC falls to £1,061,194. In fact, 1/3 of all sales took place in £500,000 – £1m bracket” explains Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio.

Image by Stacey Harris [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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