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Daily Express: House prices rise by 9,000

Tue 18 Jun 2013

HOMEOWNERS have seen the value of their properties rocket by around 750 a month over the past year.
The Office for National Statistics said yesterday that the average UK house price in April was 238,000
up 9,000 from the same month in 2012.

That is further evidence of a resurgent property market. David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services,
said: The housing market is crackling with electricity at the moment.

He praised the Governments Help to Buy and Funding for Lending schemes, as well as record low interest
rates, for the rise in prices nationwide which are heavily bolstered by London and the south-east. Mr Newnes
said: They have increased the voltage in the mortgage market which has energised first-time buyer lending
and sparked the house purchase market back into some sort of life.

Rates on first-time buyer mortgages have fallen and banks are more willing to lend to borrowers with deposits
of 15 per cent or less borrowers who didnt have a look-in 12 months ago.

While lenders are still cautious, they are at least cautiously optimistic, which is good news for prospective
buyers. First-time buyers and soaring prices in London and the south-east are driving the recovery with values
up in the capital by an astonishing six per cent.

But when the London market is stripped out of the calculations, annual prices increased by a more modest
1.4 per cent over the year.On average first-time buyers paid 4.7 per cent more to get a foothold on the property
ladder in April compared
with a year earlier.They paid 179,000 an average to buy their first home.

Peter Rollings, chief executive of agents Marsh & Parsons, said: House prices now stand at similar levels to
mid-2008, before the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the worst episodes of the financial crisis. First-time buyers
are a crucial part of the property market and now, supported by Government initiatives, they are being helped on
to the housing ladder.

Yesterdays figures back up findings from property website Rightmove which showed that homeowners average
asking prices hit 250,000 for the first time in June.

And the number of house hunters increased in April, reversing the downward trend seen in the past two months,
according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

45406

It recorded an increase of eight per cent in the average number registering with agents in April
(310 per branch) compared to March. The number of sales during the month of April also increased, with
nine per branch, which is the highest since June 2011.

The percentage of overall sales to first-time buyers also increased, from 19 per cent in March to 23 per cent in April.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: Cut-price mortgage deals are on offer
as rates continue to fall across two, three and five- year fixes.

The Governments Help to Buy has also had a successful start, reaching 4,000 reservations in two months.

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