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Land Registry confirms home price rises in Tonbridge & Malling

A 17.5 per cent increase in property prices has been recorded for detached houses in the Tonbridge and Malling area in Kent, an area that includes the growing community of Kings Hill, West Malling.  This increase heads an overall rise for Tonbridge and Malling across all property types of 4.6 per cent in the last quarter and of 4.5 per cent in the last year.  This illustrates starkly the inaccuracies in local areas of general price indicators which last week showed an overall decline of 12 per cent in the market – a 16.6 per cent disparity. 

These new figures, from the Land Registry of England and Wales and covering the period April to June 2008, show strong house price growth and reflect the anecdotal evidence 'on the ground' from sales offices of the smaller developers, many of whose sales figures are not included in the more general (and pessimistic) figures published by many of the larger organisations in the housebuilding and finance industries.  The Land Registry figures show that price rises apply across almost all types of home, with the exception of a minor decrease of 0.6 per cent in flats/maisonettes, although it is interesting to note that these have increased in price in the nearby areas of Maidstone, Gravesham, Canterbury and Ashford over the same period, proving that Tonbridge and Malling is not just a local ‘hot-spot’ but part of a general regional trend.

Some housebuilders are actually raising prices in line with the market in this area.  For example Hillreed Homes has raised prices by around three per cent at Kings Hill in the last year and it is proving to be an excellent time for purchasers to buy homes. 

Bearing in mind that around 30 per cent of property transactions are completed without mortgages, figures from the financial institutions are actually less representative of the state of the market as a whole.  However, despite the limitations of lending-based figures even the figures from the Halifax published last week show a price rise of 6.6 per cent for the Kings Hill postcode, ME19.  Overall the Halifax numbers show that falls in the market are similar to the last two months but not as big as March and May, with Kent losing only three per cent of its value and still holding up better than the South East as a whole which lost 6.4 per cent.

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