Bakewell Today: Prices on the rise as gap widens
Thu 15 Aug 2013
House prices are now rising at there fastest rate since 2006 according to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics. The average UK house price now sits at ?242,000 - a rise of 3.1% on last year's figures.
However, the ONS report was also quick to highlight the growing disparity in house prices from region to region. In particular, the gulf between house prices in the north and south has continued to worsen. In England the average price was listed at 251,000, 162,000 was listed in Wales and 130,000 in Northern Ireland and 181,000 in Scotland. Within England, London saw the highest average house price at 425,000 - an 8% rise on last year - while the North-East saw the lowest average of 145,000. The gulf is now so extreme that once you remove London and the South East from the equation, the average UK mix-adjusted house price was 190,000, according to the ONS figures. Once this figure has been adjusted, the rise is only 1.0%.
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said of the ONS data: Government initiatives such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy are fuelling the fire and creating strong demand both from home and abroad. Now buyers also have the added security of interest rates being kept at a record low, making mortgages more affordable, which will surely lead to greater demand and activity in both the resale and first-time buyer market. But with prices rising so rapidly, Mark Carneys predictions about interest rates remaining at their present level for at least three years may need to be reconsidered.
Doug Shephard, Director at Home.co.uk said: This new set of property metrics illustrates the fragmented nature of the recovery of the property market. Overall, the picture looks positive but regional economic weakness, low affordability and poor confidence are impacting negatively on half the UK. Put simply, there are more buyers in the South who are willing and able to commit to a transaction, creating stronger demand for a diminished volume of property stock.