Peter Rollings responding to the ONS House Price Index
Mon 16 Sep 2013
"A strong recovery is evident across much of the UK as house prices continue to rise at their fastest rate in many years. The market is helped by an improving economy, low interest rates, and government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy. But while the market buoyancy is clear, any talk of a housing bubble is wide of the mark. Prices in most parts of the country are still well below the market highs of 2007, and the recovery in many parts of the UK is relatively muted. Ultimately, house prices can only increase at a rate that people can afford so while wages remain low, and lending continues to be checked, there is a limit to how high house prices can rise.
"However the London property market tells a different story, with price increases that dwarf those in the rest of the UK. In the Prime London property market, an imbalance of supply and demand means that prices rise faster than in other areas. The huge demand for property in the most desirable parts of the capital, from both UK and overseas buyers, is helping to push prices higher. In the three months to June, we recorded 11% more buyers entering the market in competition for 14% fewer properties. Property is changing hands in record time and for close to the asking price, with 98% of the asking price for Prime London property regularly being achieved."