House price increases likely to spell ‘buoyant start’ to 2015

The property market has maintained momentum during 2014

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The Independent Online

Homes typically piled £42 a day on to their value throughout 2014, as the housing market recovery gathered momentum, research has revealed.

The average property price increased by £15,191 over the last year to reach £268,895 on average, according to Zoopla. But huge variations in the pace of the recovery have been seen across the UK.

Over the last year, property values have typically leapt by £81,619 in London, by £27,675 in Edinburgh and by £21,689 in Aberdeen.

Newcastle, Reading, Dundee, Bristol and Milton Keynes also recorded particularly strong performances in terms of increases this year, the property website said.

Meanwhile, among the weakest-performing cities, average prices have edged up across 2014 by £978 in Bradford and by £1,346 in Hull.

For the second year in a row, Yorkshire and the Humber is the only region where house prices have fallen annually, recording an average decrease of £2,443.

At the start of 2014, a surge in demand from house hunters hit the property market, following the full launch of the Government’s flagship Help to Buy mortgage support scheme in late 2013.

An influx of foreign money also continued to support the top-end of the market.

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But by mid-2014, there were signs that demand was starting to cool, as speculation mounted over exactly when the Bank of England might start to increase the base rate from the historic 0.5 per cent low.

Stricter mortgage lending rules were also introduced in April, and this caused some disruption to the market as lenders adjusted to how they should interpret the changes.

Zoopla spokesman, Lawrence Hall, said: “The property market has maintained its momentum during 2014, with price increases across most of the country despite initial concerns that the spate of regulatory policies designed to prevent risky lending would curb demand.

“More regions this year saw property prices increase compared with last year, indicating that the property market recovery continues and that the buoyancy will likely continue in 2015.”

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