17th June 2014
The Office for National Statistics House Price survey shows that UK house prices increased by 9.9% in the year to April 2014, up from 8.0% in the year to March 2014.
House price annual inflation was 10.4% in England, 3.3% in Wales, 4.8% in Scotland and 2.6% in Northern Ireland. Annual house price increases in England were driven by rises in London (18.7%), the South East (8.9%) and the East (8.5%). Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 6.3% in the 12 months to April 2014.
In April 2014, prices paid by first-time buyers were 10.7% higher on average than in April 2013. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 9.5% for the same period.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, says: “House prices are continuing their upward ascent, but the distinctive market in the capital continues to cloud the waters. Excluding London tells a very different tale. Outside the cash-rich London and the South East, many regions are still in the early days of the recovery.
“Housing markets in areas like the North East and North West are far more sedate. Here, first-time buyers are playing a key role in keeping the property market aloft. Help to Buy has allowed more lower-equity borrowers to get on thehousing ladder – and the scheme must be allowed to run its course to keep up demand in areas of the country where additional support is a vital necessity.
“With the capital dominated by foreign investors and buy-to-let landlords – which are adding a further dynamic of demand into the mix for homes – there’s been an intensifying clamour for intervention. But any action must be prudent, to avoid any negative impact on the more susceptible areas of the country.”