UK house prices up
The ONS House Price Index for November 2012 shows house price growth remains subdued across most of the UK, although prices in London are increasing and prices in Northern Ireland are falling.
The year-on-year increase reflected growth of 2.5% in England and 0.8% in Wales, which were offset by a decline of 1.1% in Scotland and 8.5% in Northern Ireland.
Annual house price increases in England were driven by a 5.0% rise in London and a 3.0% increase in the South East.
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 0.8% in the 12 months to November 2012.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, UK house prices increased by 0.5% between October and November.
In November 2012, prices paid by first-time buyers were 2.7% higher on average than in November 2011. For owner-occupiers (existing owners) prices increased by 1.9% for the same period.
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Today’s figures from the ONS tally with the overall growth in the value of house purchase applications we have seen in MAB’s National Mortgage Index over the last twelve months – and it is especially significant that ONS shows prices paid by first-time buyers rising at a greater rate than the overall average [2.7% compared with 2.1%].
“In the year to December 2012, the Index has shown a 13% increase in average purchase deposits to £64,325, along with a 9% rise in average purchase mortgages to £150,427. Regionally, we have also seen the growth driven by purchase business in London and East Anglia. But with the national average loan to value (LTV) for house purchases hovering around the 70% mark, it shows a greater amount of upfront capital is needed by potential buyers as well as increased access to lending – which has real implications for first-time buyers.
“The fact that cheaper deals are already appearing in January, with more flexible products to help first-time buyers put forward deposits of just 5%, is welcome news that should help to boost mortgage activity.
“We are also seeing some of the best fixed rates on offer since the summer of 2007, so with more funding to come from the Bank of England via the Funding for Lending Scheme, it looks like being a busy year ahead.”