House prices in the East of England rise 8.8%

<p>The rate of the increase in the East of England is approaching the level of the South East.</p>

Latest figures from the Land Registry have shown that the rate of house price increases in the East of England are catching up with the South East.

According to the latest report, the East saw an 8.8 per cent rise in property prises in the year to the end of May. That's compared to a 9.1 per cent rise in London and the South East.

The annual rate of increase across all of England, however, has slowed to 4.6 per cent in May, bringing the average cost of a home to £179,696. In November 2007, before the financial crisis, this number reached a peak of £180,990.

Commenting on the numbers, Guy Meacock from buying agency Prime Purchase told the BBC that London's growth in recent years could not go on forever.

"London has gone through a period of stratospheric growth, which was always going to be unsustainable at the same rate."

He also explained that many of the changes seen in growth rates are part of a wider cycle.

"The regional breakdown shows some areas are significantly outperforming others, but these markets are cyclical – that is a normal market with good and bad periods," he said.

England and Wales house prices unchanged

Across England and Wales, as a whole, property prices were unchanged in May compared with April.

The rise in prices in the East of England were offset by a 1.7 per cent fall in Wales.

In addition, the annual rate of growth fell to its lowest level since January 2014.

The data is based on sales of non-newbuild properties registered during the month. 

Andy Knee, chief executive of property firm LMS told the Guardian that a rise in property value was good for homeowners who had been affected by the downturn after 2007.

"These areas were hard hit by the crash and many will only now be starting to see their property values return to previous prices. This means they may now finally escape being mortgage prisoners, offering the opportunity remortgage and boost incomes," he explained.

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