19 Sep Property values reach record high as house prices rise by £11,000
Official figures show average values in July were up £11,000 on the same month last year – equivalent to £916 a month or £30 a day – a rise of 3.3 per cent. This means the average three-bed semi is now worth £245,000. Industry experts now confidently predict a full recovery from the credit crunch of five years ago.
One said: “Parts of the housing market are rocketing to recovery.” The growth in July is an increase on the 3.1 per cent rise in June, which suggests that the rises are accelerating.
Prices in England hit a record high, exceeding the peak of January 2008 by 0.9 per cent and taking the average house to £255,000 on the back of a roaring London market.
Values soared almost 10 per cent in the capital and by 2.6 per cent in the South-east, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
However, the figures revealed huge regional differences as the broader UK market remains just below its pre-recession highs.
Excluding London and the South-east, UK prices increased by just 0.8 per cent, taking the average house to £192,000.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “Parts of the housing market are rocketing to recovery. The catalyst for the turnaround has been a drastic improvement in mortgage lending to first-time buyers.
“Lending to high loan-to-value borrowers in August was 47 per cent higher than last year and first-time buyer numbers are at their highest since 2008.”
Peter Rollings, of agents Marsh & Parsons, said: “House prices continue to rise at their fastest rate in years. The market is helped by an improving economy, low interest rates and Government-backed schemes such as Help To Buy.
“The huge demand in the most desirable parts of the capital, from both UK and overseas buyers, is helping push prices higher. In the three months to June, we recorded 11 per cent more buyers in competition for 14 per cent fewer properties.”
Figures show that 25,000 estate agent jobs were created in the three months to June, taking the industry’s workforce to a new record of 241,000.
Last week, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggested a five per cent cap should be placed on annual house price growth to stop any future price bubble and prevent borrowers taking on too much debt.
But the ONS says house price growth is stable across Britain although prices in London are rising faster than the UK average.
“The year-on-year increase reflected growth of 3.7 per cent in England and 1.8 per cent in Northern Ireland, offset by falls of two per cent in Scotland and 0.7 per cent in Wales,” it said.
In Northern Ireland average prices pushed to £132,000 but property in Scotland and Wales fell to £182,000 and £160,000 respectively.
Yesterday chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander said: “I don’t see any sign of a housing bubble – far from it.
“The problem is twofold. We’re not building enough houses. Secondly there are vast numbers now of young families who can afford a mortgage but don’t have the resources to make a big deposit that banks require.
“I think it’s a good role for the Government to step in with a guarantee to help those people.”