House price rise fastest for 21 months

Rents rising fastest in Scotland

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The Independent Online

House prices rose £2,500 in February, according to a new report which shows that this is the largest monthly rise for 21 months

The figures from LSL Property Services estimate the new average price of a house to be a new record hight of £257,951 with monthly sales at 66,000, the highest February total since 2008.

David Newnes of LSL said: "As we head into the typically busier spring period we are seeing a further strengthening of buyer demand which, combined with a thumping start to the year from the mortgage market, has bolstered confidence across the board.

“Total sales in both January and February are up 49% on the same months in 2013, while the February total in particular was the highest since 2008. Both astounding indicators of how far we’ve come in the space of a year. Aspiring buyers are avidly queuing up to take up government’s Help to Buy scheme, with first time buyers especially benefitting from the wider range of mortgage loans now available.

"As with much of the country the crux of issue that continues to push prices higher is the shortage of supply. With buyers’ appetite for bricks and mortar undiminished, unless we see a sudden wave of properties hitting the market this will become a recurring problem both in London and elsewhere. It’s crucial that the Chancellor takes a blunt approach to challenging this supply issue in this month’s Budget, rather than take steps to notch up property taxes which could disrupt progress just as the property market is racing ahead on the right track."

Meanwhile, another set of figures from Move with Us suggests that rents are rising fastest in Scotland while nine out of 11 regions in Britain recorded rent rises in February.

Advertised rents in Scotland averaged £695 per month, a growth of £20 (2.84 per cent) compared to January and £28 (3.96 per cent) compared to the same time last year.

Average advertised rents in London grew by £29 (1.31 per cent) in February although prospective tenants in the North East saw rents decline by £24 (3.50 per cent) 

Robin King, Director of Move with Us, said: "2014 is shaping up to be a good year for landlords with rents increasing in most regions. The best places for investors however, aren’t necessarily where average rents are the highest but rather, the places with the highest rental yields. This means that, for example, the high rents in Greater London may be deceiving from an investment point of view. Rental yields actually tend to be better in places where property prices are lower like the North East, and the Midlands.