ONS: House prices up 12pc

Robyn Hall

November 18, 2014

This stands higher than in August, when prices increased by 11.7%.

Prices increased by 12.5% in England, 10.9% in Northern Ireland, 7.6% in Scotland and 5.8% in Wales.

England’s house price growth was driven by London (18.8%) and to a lesser extent the East (13.4%) and the South East (11.6%).

Indeed, if London and the South East were taken out of the equation prices increased by just 9.1%.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “House price growth has often been billed as a cause for concern over the last year, but for many of the UK’s homeowners – including more than 11 million mortgage holders – the recovery has delivered a long awaited boost to their housing equity.

“The fact that annual house price comparisons still remain in double figures might seem detrimental to first-time buyers, but there has been a visible cooling in the rate of house price growth in recent months.”

“This has helped to maintain consumer demand, with purchase applications up by almost a fifth compared to this time last year.

“Overall year-to-date mortgage applications have also already surpassed the 2013 year total.”

The MAB’s data for October revealed that remortgage applications have risen by 34% year-on-year.

On an annual basis first-time buyer prices were 13.3% higher year-on-year while owner-occupier prices increased by 11.5%.

Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said: “Gross mortgage lending dipped in September, suggesting that buyers have concerns about the prospect of a rate rise.

“However, since then, the Bank of England has sent clear indications that interest rates won’t rise until next autumn at the earliest.

“Swap rates remain low and lenders are keen to make up for lost ground caused by implementing the mortgage market review. As a consequence, there are some excellent fixed and tracker rates available.

“With the spring likely to be a challenge for the housing market ahead of the general election, lenders will continue offering fantastic deals to entice buyers and those remortgaging.”

Guy Meacock of buying agency Prime Purchase, said: “There are many opportunities for buyers this autumn.

“After five years of strong house-price growth, there is plenty of uncertainty, with the forthcoming general election, possible mansion tax and an interest rate rise next year – all of these mean that the next six to nine months is likely to be an improving market for buyers.

“Estate agents will also be advising vendors to alter their expectations downwards as they head towards the end of the calendar year.

“The market is still strong for the right property and only a fool would generalise about a market like London which has more micro markets than ever.”

He added: “Even if a mansion tax is introduced, we will be going from a very benign tax system to one that is more in line with other cities in the world.”

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