Most transactions recorded in an October since 2007
Prices have risen in all regions in England and Wales for first time in three years
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.
Monday 11 November 2013
The average house price in England and Wales is now £237,161, according to the latest report from LSL Property Services.
The figure represents a 0.6 per cent price rise in October over the previous month and a 4.3 per cent jump on the same time last year. The number of properties sold in October went above the 79,000 mark, the highest figure for the month of October since 2007, when sales were 104,500.
"We’re only at a fraction of the heights seen before the credit crunch struck," said David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, "but still the housing market is a hive of activity. There’s been a tremendous jump in transactions over the past three months,with the most sales recorded in an October since the onset of the crisis. Key to such a surge in activity is the renewed level of confidence seeping back into the market and a plethora of attractive mortgage deals enticing more and more aspiring buyers back into the housing arena."
Earlier this month, Nationwide's figures - which are compiled in a different way - suggested UK house prices increased by 1 per cent in October and were 5.8 per cent higher than October 2012, around 7 per cent below the 2007 peak. Its average price was £173,678.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: "House price growth has accelerated as buyer demand has picked up more quickly than the supply of new homes. The risk is that if demand continues to strengthen while the supply of property remains constrained affordability could become stretched. Indeed, average wages have continued to decline in real terms even though employment growth has been fairly robust in recent years."
David Newnes underlined that for the first time in nearly three years, all ten regions in England and Wales saw an increase in prices.
"The increase in demand, in part fuelled by the second phase of Help to Buy having being brought forward, has driven up average house prices across the country by £1,376 over the past month and £9,776 from a year ago," he said. "But despite significant rises, the increased availability and competitiveness of mortgages has also opened the door to a new wave aspiring buyers who had previously been persistently locked out. The stark rise in first-time buyer activity in particular has given the speed of recovery an even greater uplift.
"Up and down the country regions are benefiting from the resurgence and experiencing new levels of activity. Up by 26 per cent, East Anglia has seen the greatest boost in sales, but even the region with the lowest rise in transactions, the West Midlands, falls only shortly behind rising by 22 per cent. In the face of rises sweeping across the nation, we must ensure that the market doesn’t soar out of reach for those at the bottom of the ladder."
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