Sarah Davidson

January 19, 2016

UK house prices increased by 7.7% in the year to November 2015 up from 7.0% in the year to October 2015, Office for National Statistics data showed.

However prices paid by first-time buyers were 7.4% higher on average than in November 2014 compared to owner-occupiers who saw prices rise 7.8% for the same period.

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Partners, said: “This is likely to be driven by two things – both of which may have long-term benefits for the market.

“Demand may be softening as would-be buyers reassess and decide to save longer to secure the home they want. But more importantly, the easing of first-time buyer price rises could be the first sign of greater supply coming onto the market.

“The Help to Buy scheme has long been accused of stoking prices but not supply… but its ultimate goal was also to get Britain building more. If the slew of starter homebuilding is beginning to bite, this bodes well for supply in 2016.”

Rises were not equally spread across the UK however with annual house price inflation at 8.3% in England, 1.3% in Wales, 0.4% in Scotland and 4.6% in Northern Ireland.

Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.8% in the 12 months to November 2015.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “House prices in November saw the biggest annual increase in eight months, despite traditionally being a quieter time in the housing market.

“That said the heat is set to rise in the buy-to-let and second home market in the short-term, as buyers rush to complete before the changes to stamp duty kick in in April.”

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