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Asking prices of new homes in the UK rise
The average asking price for a new home in the UK increased by 1.2% in December compared with the previous month, according to the latest index from Smart New Homes.

It means that the last quarter of 2011 saw consecutive monthly increases with prices up 2.6% over the three months, the index also shows.

The new homes market saw annual price growth of 3.2% in 2011, which is the first calendar year to see positive growth since 2006, putting the average price of a new at £227,098, some £7,029 higher than at the end of 2010.

The company, whose website represents 85% of all new homes in the UK, said that the sector continues to show increasing price stability. In the wider market, however, prices fell in the final three months of the year. But asking prices in the new homes market are now more than in the wider market for the first time since March 2009.

The West Midlands saw the largest annual price growth in 2011, with prices up 12.6%. Greater London fell 7.8% over 12 months and 2.2% in the final quarter but was up 3% in December.

The number of new homes coming onto the market fell consecutively in the three months to December as house builders delayed new development and phase launches until the New Year. However, annual growth of 10.2% was still recorded.

Also trading updates from some of the UK’s biggest house builders show that build completions in 2011 were up year on year and many have grown their land banks but it remains to be seen what impact the new Localism Bill and the NPPF will have on build capacity.

‘Unwavering buyer demand in the run up to Christmas and more readily available finance, particularly for first time buyers, meant that the new homes market recorded a robust level of growth last year, reversing the trend for annual price falls seen at the end of each calendar year since 2006,’ said Steven Lees, director of Smart New Homes.

‘The new homes market outperformed the wider market in 2011 with research by Smart New Homes revealing that home owners now prefer properties with a contemporary design and which better cater to modern day needs. Although prices have increased, house builders have maintained affordability for buyers by introducing a range of new mortgage products and the industry is currently working with the Government on its new mortgage indemnity product to be unveiled this year,’ he added.

The Smart New Homes New Homes Index is based on both properties and enquiries on the Smart New Homes website and records the price of new homes for sale by region and type of property and is mix adjusted, as well as tracking consumer demand for properties on a monthly basis.
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