Peter Rollings responding to the latest ONS House Price Index
Tue 15 Oct 2013
"A healthy recovery continues across most parts of the UK with house prices climbing steadily and passing the previous peak of January 2008. However, prices are still well below the market highs of 2007, and the recovery in many parts of the UK is relatively muted. Northern Ireland and Wales saw modest increases, while average values in Scotland actually fell compared to last year.
"The London property market operates on an entirely different level to the rest of the country. Across the capital, annual price increases of 9% positively dwarf those in the rest of the UK, and in Prime London this is even higher we have recorded an 11% increase compared to last year.
"Rather than create a bubble, we may find that Help to Buy actually stabilises prices by encouraging first-time sellers to put their properties on the market and take their next step up the property ladder. For the past three quarters, a lack of available property has created an extraordinary premium for those on the market, but we are now seeing a gradual increase in supply. In Prime London, we recorded a 5% increase in the number of properties available on the market in the last quarter, which means that the supply and demand ratio has begun to stabilise for the first time in a year good news for those wanting to buy."