House prices up 10pc says ONS

Nia Williams

January 13, 2015

The ONS data shows house price annual inflation was 10.4% in England, 3.1% in Wales, 4.4% in Scotland and 11.7% in Northern Ireland.

Average house prices increased strongly in all nine English regions over the year to November 2014. The largest increase was again in London at 15.3% followed by the East (11.9%) and the South East (10.8%). Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 7.1% over the year to November 2014.

House prices are no longer at record levels in any region of the UK, with the majority of regions having reached a record level in August 2014.

The average house price in November 2014 stood at £283,000 in England, £171,000 in Wales, £147,000 in Northern Ireland and £194,000 in Scotland.

In November 2014, London continued to be the English region with the highest average house price at £501,000 and the North East had the lowest average house price at £155,000. Excluding London and the South East, the average UK house price was £207,000.

By type of buyer

The average price for properties bought by first-time buyers increased by 11% over the year to November 2014, down from an increase of 12% in October 2014.

In November 2014 the average price paid for a house by a first-time buyer was £208,000.

The average price for properties bought by former owner-occupiers (existing owners) increased by 9.5% in the year to November 2014, down from an increase of 9.7% in October 2014.

In November 2014, the average price paid for a house by a former owner-occupier was £312,000.

Commenting, Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: “Despite house price growth slowing in recent months, the latest figures from the ONS still show substantial rises over the past year.

“For the thousands of first-time buyers who have struggled to get on to the housing ladder, many will welcome the news of house price growth slowing, yet prices remain out of reach for many and are still a huge hurdle to overcome with prices paid up 11% from November 2013.

“The slowdown in activity in the market may be reflective of wider changes in the economy; specifically uncertainty ahead of the election in May, 15-year low inflation and continued speculation about interest rates could all lead to a lack of confidence.

“2014 saw greater appetite from lenders and it would be hugely detrimental if this were to be damaged or curtailed as a result of slower growth.

“Hopefully 2015 will usher in a year of greater prosperity for the economy, as wages can finally start to see some improvement and unemployment rates remain low.

“It would be optimistic –but not totally impossible – to expect a year of greater stability and sustainability for the housing market too.”

Stephen Smith, director, mortgage club and housing at Legal & General, said that it is important not to lose sight of the long term trends.

“Shortages of viable homes remain a problem across the country but particularly in areas such as London,” he said.

“As a result this constriction in supply has increased demand and with its prices. With that in mind, it is important for the government to strengthen its support for the recent building initiatives we have seen to alleviate the pressure.

“Although challenging, maintaining the momentum of house building is crucial to creating a sustainable market that is accessible to first-time buyers and offers current homeowners more mobility. Recent changes to stamp duty regulation will also encourage flexibility by removing a serious financial obstacle for many.

“Ahead of the upcoming election, it is good to see these issues occupying a prime spot on the political agenda and the hope is that they continue to do so as without change, the UK housing market becomes more skewed and ultimately unsustainable.”

Sign up to our daily email