Wed, May 20, 2015 - Today?s News : UK house prices see strong annual growth
Wed 20 May 2015
The Office for National Statistics data shows that UK house prices increased by 9.6 per cent in the year to March2015, up from 7.4 per cent in the year to February 2015.
The pace of annual house price growth increased across the majority of the UK.
House price annual inflation was 9.4 per cent in England, 5.7 per cent in Wales,and 7.5 per cent in NorthernIreland. Scotland led the way, though, with price growth of 14.6 per cent, the country's highest annual increasesince July 2007.
Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in the East (11.4 per cent), London(11.2 per cent) and the South East (11.2 per cent).
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 8.1 per cent in the 12 months to March2015.
"Existing homeowners will be encouraged by strong annual growth in prices in todays ONS data, with a 9.6 percent increase making for significant returns," says Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau(MAB). "However, given the fact that it far outstrips wage increases, the higher rate of house price growth bringswith it genuine concerns about affordability."
In March 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 7.8 per cent higher on average than in March 2014. Forexisting owners, prices increased by 10.3 per cent for the same period.
"Certain regions of the UK have seen particularly high growth, with the accelerating rise of house prices in theSouth-East and East suggesting that the London market is having a ripple effect in other parts of the country,"adds Murphy. "This trend looks likely to continue as people look further out into the commuter belt for goodvalue."
"London and the South East have long been at the vanguard of property price growth in the UK," confirms PeterRollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, "but in the past twelve months it is Scotland and the East of England that hasseen the largest price rises. The spotlight may no longer be shining on London alone, but the capital has stillrecorded double digit growth away from the glare."
"It is also worth bearing in mind that these figures concentrate on March," Rollings adds, "when the country wasstill convinced that we had a close-run election on our hands and vendors and buyers in London were holdingtheir breath about what impact mansion tax and other possible policies might have.
"Now the reality is far different," he adds: "A frisson of excitement has returned to the high-end market."
Canadian house prices "slightly overvalued"
Canadian house prices are "slightly overvalued", the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp has cautioned.
In its quarterly measure of four risk factors for the country's property market, the federal agency said that overall,prices are 3 to 4 per cent overvalued, but that this is below 8 per cent threshold considered to be problematic.
The agency dismiessed concerns about overheating or overbuilding, which see demand outpace supply or viceverse, although it said that Toronto and Montreal are at moderate risk of overvaluation, as prices rise faster thanincome.
The national average home price continues to be upwardly distorted by sales activity in Greater Vancouver andGreater Toronto, warned the Canadian Real Estate Association in its the latest report.
Greater Vancouver (8.50 per cent) and Greater Toronto (8.43 per cent) posted the biggest year-over-year priceincreases in April 2015. Excluding these two markets from calculations, the average Canadian price has risen by3.4 per cent.