Liquid error: wrong number of arguments (2 for 1) House price rise edges ahead again | Marsh & Parsons Sales and Lettings Estate Agents London

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House price rise edges ahead again

Tue 18 Feb 2014

House price rise edges ahead again

UK house prices are continuing to escalate, particularly among properties for first-time buyers, figures from the ONS suggest.

The ONS says the UK average house price rose by 5.5% in December, compared with 5.4% rise in November.

Prices paid by first-time buyers were on average 7.4% higher than they were a year ago, while for owner occupiers they were only 4.7% ahead, down from 5.0% before.

And although house prices in London rose by 12.3%, the organisation says strong increases are now also showing in other regions in the UK - prices in the East were up by 4.6%, while they rose by 4.3% in the West Midlands.

David Brown, commercial director at LSL Property Services, said he expects more rises in the near future. He said. "Average prices have further to go before they start to moderate - with the market now in a recovery stage from what's been a very long trough."

Peter Rollings, chief executive of estate agency chain Marsh & Parsons, said his company has evidence that in prime London locations prices may be rising even faster. He said, "We saw the average value of two-bedroom properties rise by nearly 100,000 during 2013, following a 17% annual growth. Across the capital, the ratio of supply and demand remains out of kilter, which is helping to push prices upwards. In January, 19% more buyers entered the market in competition for 28% fewer properties, compared to a year earlier."

But he added that he expected a return to more normal conditions in the Spring, when more properties typically come onto the market.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at the Mortage Advice Bureau (MAB) said he saw some crumbs of comfort for hard-pressed first-time buyers in the fact that prices for new build properties were unchanged year-on-year, while pre-owned property prices were up 5.8%.

He said: "It's a great time to seek a buyer if you already own property, but for first-timers, the availability of Help to Buy equity loans can make new builds an attractive proposition. There is certainly no sign that the scheme is pushing the prices of newly built houses out of reach."

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