Jul 19

House prices increasing strongly across most of the UK

UK house prices increased by 10.5% in the year to May 2014, up from 9.9% in the year to April 2014 according to latest data fro the Office for National Statistics.

House price annual inflation was 11.0% in England, 6.5% in Wales, 3.6% in Scotland and -0.7% in Northern Ireland.

House prices are increasing strongly across most parts of the UK, with prices in London again showing the highest growth.

Annual house price increases in England were driven by a record annual increase in London of 20.1% and to a lesser extent increases in the South East (9.6%) and the East (8.6%).

Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 6.4% in the 12 months to May 2014.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.8% between April and May 2014.

In May 2014, prices paid by first-time buyers were 11.3% higher on average than in May 2013. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 10.1% for the same period.

Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments:  “Renowned worldwide as a hub for business, investment and culture – London has always enjoyed unrivalled popularity as a place to live and work in, and this demand has fuelled growth on an entirely different trajectory to the rest of the UK.”

“After a whirlwind start to the year, the dust is now settling. Increasing consumer confidence has encouraged sellers to put their property on the market, boosting supply and relaxing competition, and prices are stabilising as the market returns to more normal trading conditions. The increased supply of property for sale is throwing buyers a much-needed lifeline and benefiting sellers, who now have wider choice for their onward purchases. This new injection of calm into the market will sustain healthy activity levels for the duration of the year, and ensure the recovery continues to wash across the country. ”

Paul Smith, CEO of haart said:

“The headlines from the ONS House Price Index shout that London has grown by a record of more than 20% year-on-year followed by the South East with house prices there nudging 10%. However, dig a little deeper and recent statistics from the same government department show that nine of the 12 regions of the UK are still below their peak in January 2008.

“This helps keep things in perspective. It’s a positive that house prices are continuing to recover around the UK while London remains a law unto itself – but even here we are seeing prices tail off which is a good thing. More stock is coming onto the market and with it more choices for buyers. The market generally is not over-heating so the government and Bank of England must take great care not to apply the brakes too early.”