House prices rise at highest rate seen in seven months

 

Two-thirds of homeowners are predicting that house prices will increase in the first half of this year, as official figures show that prices have risen at the highest rate seen in seven months.

House prices climbed by 0.5% month-on-month in November to reach an average of £232,000, showing the biggest monthly increase seen since April last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS)'s latest house price index showed today.

On a year-on-year basis, prices were up by 2.1% across the UK. However, sharp regional variations persist and while London and the South East recorded increases of a 5% and 3% respectively, prices slid by 8.5% in Northern Ireland and by 2.4% in North East England.

Meanwhile, a separate study from property search website Zoopla indicated that homeowner confidence in the housing market has seen a rebound.

Two-thirds of 2,400 home owners (65%) in Zoopla's survey expect property prices in their area to rise over the next six months, up from 55% when similar research took place a year ago.

Just under a fifth (19%) of those surveyed expect prices to fall in the next six months, down from 29% 12 months ago.

The average increase predicted over the first half of this year is 3.2%, which Zoopla said works out at a typical rise of £7,261, based on its own valuations of house prices.

Homeowners in London, which has had strong interest from overseas buyers, are the most optimistic, with 84% predicting increases in their area over the next six months.

Those living in Yorkshire and the Humber are the least confident, with just over half (51%) predicting rises.

The ONS figures showed that year-on-year, house prices increased by 2.5% in England to average £241,000 and by 0.8% in Wales to around £157,000.

But continuing a long-standing trend of falls in Northern Ireland, prices were down annually by 8.5% to reach £128,000 and they also declined by 1.1% in Scotland, averaging £178,000.

The ONS said: "House price growth remains subdued across most of the UK."

It said that if London and the South East were taken out of its figures, UK house prices would have increased at a much lower rate of 0.8% year-on-year in November.

Bodies such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are predicting a pick-up in sales in the coming months amid recent signs of improvements to the mortgage market.

RICS suggested today that the housing market could be "over the very worst" of its difficulties.

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase has been climbing in recent months, which has been put down to a multi-billion pound Government scheme which was launched in August to boost lending.

Mortgage lenders have slashed their rates and the number of mortgages on the market has increased strongly since the scheme began.

Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said: "Homeowner confidence has re-bounded strongly from one year ago, with a significant majority now expecting to see house price increases over the first half of the year.

"While we are not yet back to the levels of post credit-crunch optimism seen in late 2009, the increased confidence bodes well for both market activity and pricing in 2013."

Here are Zoopla's regional findings when homeowners were asked what they expect to happen to house prices in their area over the next six months, with the percentage expecting falls followed by the share predicting they will be flat and the percentage expecting an increase:

:: Yorkshire and the Humber, 32%, 17%, 51%

:: West Midlands, 15%, 22%, 64%

:: Wales, 27%, 11%, 62%

:: South West, 22%, 20%, 58%

:: South East, 13%, 18%, 69%

:: Scotland, 28%, 12%, 60%

:: Northern Ireland, 22%, 11%, 67%

:: North West, 25%, 21%, 54%

:: North East, 24%, 13%, 63%

:: London, 7%, 9%, 84%

:: East, 16%, 16%, 68%

:: East Midlands, 18%, 17%, 65%

PA

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Portfolio Analyst/ PMO

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn