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London house prices in surprise tumble, says Land Registry . . .

House prices dropped by 0.6% in March, the Land Registry has reported, bringing the average selling price in England and Wales to £160,372 – also 0.6% lower than a year ago.

But the big surprise is that the Land Registry shows house prices to have fallen in London, by 1.8%, while rising in the North-East by 5.6%.

House prices in London are still 0.7% higher than a year ago, with the average price now standing at £343,522.

In the North-East, despite the big monthly jump, they remain 2.8% below what they were a year ago, to stand at £101,676.

Also noticeable in March was a 4.1% drop in average house prices in Wales, which at £113,036 are now 5.5% below their level of the previous year.

The Land Registry also reported a slight rise in the number of transactions. Its latest data covers October 2011 to January 2012 and shows an average of 55,661 sales per month – up from an average of 52,363 monthly sales for the same period a year previously.

In January itself, the number of house sales was 42,511 compared with 37,584 in January 2011.

In March, the Land Registry reports so far having received over 55,000 applications to lodge property sales, on which it has based its March prices.

Data released by the Land Registry also shows who its biggest customers are, applying for a whole range of documents.

The top three customers applying for transactions for value were My Home Move, Addleshaw Goddard and Countrywide Property Lawyers. For searches, the top three customers were Enact, Optima Legal Searches and TM Group (UK).

While the Land Registry data records deals completed what can be months after they were agreed, take a look at the next story to see what might be in the pipeline.

Source: EAToday Wed 2 May 2012