House prices rose for the third month in a row in April as market conditions in London improved to levels not seen since 2007, but show a stark North-South divide.
Prices increased by 0.3 per cent month-on-month across the country, following a similar uplift in March, but the rise was driven by a 0.7 per cent rise in London, Hometrack found.
However, prices remained flat in the Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. They increased by only 0.1 per cent in East Anglia, the South East and the South West and saw a 0.2 per cent uplift in Wales.
Demand from new buyers registering with estate agents in London has grown three times faster than the rate of homes coming on the market over the last three months, the study said.
The health of the London market has recovered to levels not seen since the property boom in 2007, with they city seen as a safe haven for wealthy foreign investors. It means that the typical proportion of the asking price achieved on London property sales is now over 95 per cent in both London and the South East, compared with 93 per cent in the rest of the country.
London homes now take just four-and-a-half weeks to sell – which is around half the national average and also the quickest selling time seen since 2007.
Although the strength of the London market continues to outperform the rest of the country, the market is also picking up in other hot-spots.
Outside London, the next highest levels of growth were seen in Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, which recorded increases of 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. Separate research from property website Zoopla found last week that the property market is starting to “turn a corner”, with confidence in the housing market among home owners standing at its highest level in three years.
Hometrack questions around 6,000 estate agents and surveyors for its survey each month.