UK House Prices Reach A Record High
Mon 14 Oct 2013
UK house prices are now at a record high, some 0.3% above the previous peak of January 2008, according to the latest data released by the Office of National Statistics. It means that in the 12 months to August 2013, UK house prices increased by 3.8%, up from a 3.3% increase in the 12 months to July 2013.
The ONS report says that house price growth remains stable across most of the UK, although prices in London are increasing faster than the UK average. The year on year increase reflected growth of 4.1% in England, 1.1% in Northern Ireland and 1% in Wales, offset by a fall of 0.7% in Scotland.
In England annual house price increases were driven by London with growth of 8.7%, while the East Midlands saw growth of 3.8% and the West Midlands 3.5%. Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices
increased by 2.1% in the 12 months to August 2013.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, UK house prices increased by 0.5% between July and August 2013. The data also shows that in August 2013, prices paid by first time buyers were 4.9% higher on average than in August 2012.
For owner occupiers prices increased by 3.3% for the same period. The figures show that a healthy recovery continues across most parts of the UK with house prices climbing steadily, according to Peter Rollings, chief executive officer at Marsh & Parsons, but he pointed out that prices re still well below the market highs of 2007.
Also, 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, he explained.He believes that rather than create a bubble, the much anticipated second phase of Help to Buy might actually stabilise 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. This meant that the ratio of supply and demand has begun to stabilise for the first time in a year which can only be good news for those wanting to buy, he concluded.