English house prices reach their highest ever level
But it's still not a property bubble say experts
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed Shedworking blog since 2006 and is the author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest book is Bookshelf, published by Thames & Hudson.
Tuesday 17 September 2013
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that house prices in England are now at a record high.
While the ONS house price index for the UK is stilll slightly below the previous high of January 2008, the figures for England by itself are now 0.9 per cent higher than that peak.
One problem with the figures is that the rises in London and the South East are not reflected in all regions. So although prices in London rose by 9.7 per cent over the last 12 months according to the ONS, if the London and the South East (with a rise of 2.6 per cent) are left out, prices in the other regions of the UK only rose by 0.8 per cent. Indeed there were falls of 2 per cent in Scotland and 0.7 per cent in Wales over the same period.
Nicholas Ayre, Managing Director of homebuying agency Home Fusion said: "Are we about to see a house price bubble? This really isn’t about the panic buying witnessed in 2007, it is about growing, steady demand. First time buyers are now increasingly active, some now finding they can access the finance needed to get onto the property ladder and at more reasonable rates."
Peter Rollings, CEO at Marsh & Parsons, said: “Any talk of a housing bubble is wide of the mark. Prices in most parts of the country are still well below the market highs of 2007, and the recovery in many parts of the UK is relatively muted. Ultimately, house prices can only increase at a rate that people can afford – so while wages remain low, and lending continues to be checked, there is a limit to how high house prices can rise."
Andy Knee, Chief Executive of LMS, added: "The Bank of England is set to discuss the possible formation of a ‘bubble’ in the housing market at its Financial Policy Committee meeting tomorrow, exploring what action should be taken to prevent fall-out from a ‘burst’. However, such vast regional discrepancies reaffirm the fact that the existence of the bubble is still in question.
"Due to the nature of the housing market you will always be taking a risk to a degree, so if you are able to source that all important deposit and have found the perfect property then make the purchase. No one can predict if, or when, this bubble will burst, and you don’t want to wait around only to find you have missed your chance.”
"If the government wants to make housing more affordable – and avoid inflating another property bubble – then it needs to encourage more house building," said Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors. "There is a woeful shortfall in housing starts which is causing demand to gallop away from supply and drag house prices along with it. We need a sustainable market which is accessible to everyone, not just the equity-rich. A focus on the underperforming regions outside of London also may need to be considered if large parts of the country are not to be left behind."
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
Life & Style blogs
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...