House prices up almost 10% year on year
Tue 01 Apr 2014
House prices up almost 10% year on year
UK house prices increased fractionally by 0.4% in March, up 9.5% on March 2013 but still hovering around 3% below their 2007 peak.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, believes that there is little doubt that the recovery in the housing market is now firmly established, with activity levels picking up and house prices recording their fifteenth successive monthly increase in March. He said: "There are some tentative signs of moderation, with the monthly pace of price growth slowing to 0.4% in March down from 0.7% in February and 0.8% in January. Nevertheless, viewed in annual terms, price growth is continuing to run at a robust pace, with the price of a typical home 9.5% higher than in March 2013. Record low mortgage rates, improved availability of credit and the brighter economic outlook are all leading to increased demand for housing. However, the upturn in the supply side of the market continues to lag far behind, with the number of new homes being built in England still around 40% below pre-crisis levels (and this was already insufficient to keep up with the increase in the number of households being formed).
All UK regions saw annual price rises in Q1 2014. Most still remain below 2007 peaks. However, as usual, London continues to lead, with annual price growth of 18% in Q1
Robert Gardner said: "The price of a typical UK house rose by 2.6% in Q1, after allowing for seasonal effects. Prices were up 9.2% compared with the same quarter of 2013. Although all regions saw annual house price growth in Q1, ten of the thirteen regions have yet to surpass their pre-crisis peaks. London, the Outer Metropolitan and the Outer South East are the exceptions. Annual house price growth continued to surge in London, rising to 18% in Q1, the highest growth rate since Q1 2003. Prices in the capital are now 20% above their 2007 peak, with the price of a typical London home at 362,699. Prices in Northern Ireland were up 5.4% year-on-year in Q1, although average prices are still around half the level prevailing in late 2007. Scotland saw a 7.6% annual increase in prices, the strongest pace of growth since Q4 2007. Wales was one of the few regions to see a slowing in annual price growth, from 6.1% in Q4 to 5.2% in Q1.
Amongst the English regions, the South continued to outperform the North. Outside of London, the Outer Metropolitan area was again the strongest performing region, with annual price growth of 10.6%, whilst the North continued to be the weakest English region, with prices up 5.9% over the year."
Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, says that while recovery in the housing market is now firmly established, house prices are beginning to moderate. He said: "This suggests the initial surge in demand seen throughout 2013 is beginning to temper as consumers become more confident about their homeowning prospects. Annual growth is certainly robust and mortgage finance is now far more accessible as lenders have been bolstered by an improved economic outlook, while mortgage rates continue to stay at record lows. With the government's Help to Buy scheme extended until the end of the decade, and reassurance from the Bank of England that any rise in rates will be gradual, consumers can remain confident in their chances of successfully buying a home. However, supply continues to lag behind demand, and this problem must be tackled if homes are to remain affordable for first-time buyers. Investment in construction and recruitment of skilled labourers is essential if we are to keep the momentum of housing recovery going." Peter Rollings, CEO at Marsh & Parsons, suggests that today's figures show that property prices across thecountry have risen by nearly 10% over the past 12 months, but remain 3% below the market highs of 2007.
Rollings commented: "The London property market tells a very different story, with an 18% annual rise in house prices. The capital, unique to the UK, operates with unprecedented levels of demand and record sales. In South West London, we have 48 potential buyers registered for each available property. A two-bedroom, ground-floor flat in Balham, initially advertised at 450,000, recently attracted 107 viewings and 53 offers. It eventually sold for 549,000. "In January, half of all properties sold in Prime London went for more than the asking price, and one in three were snapped up within two weeks of being put on the market. 2014 may have got off to an unusually hectic start; however we can expect the rate of house price growth to stabilise in the coming months as supply replenishes in the spring."