House market 'rollicking along' as prices hit record
Tue 15 Oct 2013
House prices have soared to a record quarter of a million pounds after a jump of four per cent in the past year.
The value of a typical three-bedroom semi is now 247,000 - a massive rise of 13,000 on the previous year's average.
The annual 3.8 per cent rise in August has sent prices beyond the previous all-time record set in January 2008 at the height of the property boom
Last night the industry welcomed the latest indicators from the office for National Statistics of robustness in the housing market.
Richard Sexton, director of e.serv chartered surveyors, said: "The market is rollicking along. Banks are more willing to lend to borrowers with low deposits and consumer confidence is on the rise."
Prices are now averaging 256,000 in England, 185,000 in Scotland, 164,000 in Wales and 130,000 in Ulster.
David Newnes, directorof LSL Property Services, said: "House price growth is positive news not only for the housing sector but also for the wider economy given the inherent link between property values and optimistic consumer sentiment.
"The UK housing market is on the road to a full recovery"
The ONS said prices in London have soared 8.7 per cent in the past year, with the East Midlands seeing the second highest increase, 3.8 per cent. Only Scotland has seen a fall, 0.7 per cent.
Help To Buy, the Governments 12billion flagship housing scheme for buyers with small deposits, alongside the 80billion Funding for Lending scheme, are credited with boosting the market. A Treasury spokesman said: "We're encouraged to see signs that house prices are recovering from a low base alongside the wider economy."
The ONS figures showed that first-time buyers are typically paying 185,000 for a property which is 4.9 per cent more than they would have done a year ago, while home-movers are paying 283,000 on average, marking a 3.3 per cent annual increase.
Critics fear we could be heading for a price "bubble".
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, warned that efforts to kickstart the market could result in properties being pushed further out of reach for people unable to rely on the bank of mum and dad.
He said: "Our rollercoater housing market may make headlines but these days rising house price do not have that feel-good factor
However property experts dismissed those fears saying the market recovery was built on firm ground.
Peter Rollings, of estate agents Marsh & Parsons said: "Prices are still well below the market highs of 2007.
"Rather than create a bubble, we may find Help To Buy stabilises prices by encouraging first-time sellers to put their properties on the market and take their next step up the property ladder."