Housing Market In England And Wales Benefitting From Wider Economic Recovery
Fri 28 Feb 2014
The housing market in England and Wales is reaping the fruits of a wider recovery in the UK it has been suggested after the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics showed prices increased by 1% in January. This took the average house price in England and Wales to 168,356 and the data also shows an annual price rise of 4.2%. The region in England and Wales which experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months was London with a rise of 10.9% and the North East experienced the greatest monthly rise with an increase of 2.6%.
No regions experienced an annual price fall but Yorkshire and The Humber saw the most significant monthly price fall with a decline of 1.4%. Meanwhile, the most up to date figures available show that during November 2013 the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by 23% to 78,358 compared with 63,953 in November 2012. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over 1 million in November 2013 increased by 45% to 985 from 677 in November 2012.
Over 92,200 residential properties in England and Wales were lodged for registration in January ranging from 10,000 to 28.5 million.Repossession volumes decreased by 33% in November 2013 to 1,162 compared with 1,722 in November 2012. The region with the greatest fall in the number of repossession sales was the East.Confidence is clearly on the rise creating a buoyant atmosphere in the housing market.
All signs suggest the recovery will continue to roll out this year, with steady growth up and down the country. Mortgage availability has improved tremendously in the past year, which is helping thousands of aspiring home owners get on the ladder and allowing those already with a foothold to move further up, said David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, owners of Your Move and Reeds Rains.
But there's a flip side. With far more people entering the market, we simply need more homes beyond the level of current new house building and movers coming to the market. Stocks of available property are down and there is not enough new house building, he explained.
However, the market is buoyant, prices are rising but not out of control and we have more first-time buyers entering the market due to more higher loan to value lending available. Most of the ingredients are there for a good housing market. We need action from the government to help stimulate more house building more quickly to keep pace with the growing need and demand for more housing, he added. His colleague, David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, pointed out that for some potential first time buyers, home ownership is proving more difficult rather than becoming a more achievable aspiration.
With house prices rising, those without a step already on the ladder are finding it harder to make the leap, he said. More higher loan to value lending, meaning smaller deposits are needed, is however helping more first time buyers than the market has seen for some years. This is a key factor that is helping drive the housing market forward, he explained. Rents are seeing a more modest rising trend, providing some breathing space for renters waiting to buy and saving up a deposit as landlords expand their portfolios and the private rented sector continues to grow, he added.
Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, said that the roots of housing market recovery have firmly taken hold in 2014 with steady annual growth and every patch of the country experiencing annual price increases. Its great to see ripples of growth spreading throughout the country, with the North East experiencing the highest monthly price rise of 2.6% in January, he explained.But he pointed our that the London market is still surging ahead the rest of the UK, with a 10.9% annual increase in prices in January.
Average property prices in the capital are nearly three times the nationwide average, and with the disconnect between supply and demand currently at a four year high, prices are likely to continue this upwards momentum, he said.The Prime London market opened with a bang in 2014, with properties selling in record time and for closer to the asking price than ever before. However conditions are likely to stabilise in the Spring, as more sellers put their properties up for sale at what is traditionally one of the busiest time of the year, he added.