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England and Wales house prices up



LONDON: Average house prices increased by 0.8 per cent in December to 165,080 pounds, according to the flagship index from the Land Registry. The figures show an annual price increase of 1.7 per cent, with London seeing the biggest increase at 8.4 per cent. London also experienced the greatest monthly rise with 3.1 per cent. The North West experienced the greatest annual price fall with 3.5 per cent and also saw the most significant monthly price fall with 0.9 per cent. The most up-to-date figures available show that during October 2012, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by three per cent to 56,337 compared with 57,988

in October 2011. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over one million pounds in October 2012 increased by 14 per cent to 623 from 548 in October 2011. The South East tops the table of regional applications with 193,079 in December.

2013 likely to see renewed confidence

DUBAI: A flurry of new project announcements in Dubai at the end of 2012 has renewed confidence in the emirate’s property market, according to experts but Abu Dhabi recovery is still some way behind. Dubai could see a broader based real estate recovery in 2013, but certain issues such as over-supply and the UAE central bank’s mortgage changes could have an effect. The changes limit mortgages taken out by foreigners at 50 per cent of the property’s value for a first home, and 40 per cent for second and subsequent homes. Caps for UAE citizens have been set at 70 and 60 per cent. Further mortgage rule changes are expected by the middle of the year on

top of those already announced. These may include broader regulations covering stability of housing mortgage sector and all banks and financial institutions will have to adhere to them.

Market recovery prone to slow

SYDNEY: New home building activity in Australia faces a long road ahead as land sales have

declined significantly, according to Housing Industry Association (HIA) which represents the building industry. The HIA-RP Data Residential Land Report shows that residential land sales fell by 17.8 per cent in the September 2012 quarter, although the volume was still 14.9 per cent higher than the record set a year earlier. “It’s encouraging that land sales in a majority of markets have lifted off the depths plunged in 2011. However, this latest update highlights the uncertainty around whether the new home building sector can mount a recovery that is both

sustainable and of the magnitude Australia’s population and eco-nomy require,” said Harley Dale, chief economist at HIA.

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