Soaring house prices rise almost £20,000 in a year

House prices soared by £1,200 during April to stand at a new record high, figures showed today.

House prices 3

The average cost of a home in England and Wales rose by 0.5 per cent during the month to reach £263,113 – £54,000 above the low point reached in April 2009 during the housing market correction.

It was the tenth month in a row that property values have set a new record, according to LSL Property Services and Acadata.

The typical home is now worth 7.3 per cent or £17,877 more than it was a year earlier.

Sales activity was also buoyant during April, with an estimated 72,000 transactions carried out, 40 per cent more than during the same month of 2013.

David NewnesDavid Newnes, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, owned by LSL Property Services, said: “As the floods and bad weather at the start of the year become a distant memory, sales in April have returned to more normal levels.

“Activity is largely being fuelled by increasing numbers of purchases by first-time buyers and buy-to-let landlords, as consumer confidence sweeps the country. “Low inflation and healthy wage growth are energising household finances, and infusing aspiring buyers with greater optimism.”

London continued to outperform other regional housing markets, with house prices in the capital rising by 13.2 per cent during the past year.

But growth is rippling out across the rest of the country, with South East posting gains of 6.1 per cent in the past 12 months, while in the East Midlands house prices are 5.3 per cent higher than they were a year ago.

Meanwhile, East Anglia followed London and the South East to become the third region in which property values have surpassed their pre-crisis peak.

Overall, house prices have risen in 89 per cent of unitary authorities during the past 12 months.

But LSL warned that it was important that the supply of properties being put up for sale kept pace with demand.

Newnes said: “Constrained supply in the capital has already moderated total London sales over the past 12 months.

“Demand shows no sign of slowing. More house building is imperative to keep the momentum going, and to ensure that price rises are sustainable, in particular for first-time buyers – who remain the key ingredient at the lower end of the market, oiling the cogs of growth.”

Today’s figures come the day after Halifax said annual house price growth eased slightly to 8.5 per cent during April.

But the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said it expected house prices to continue their upward march, as the mismatch between supply and demand intensified.

The group said estate agents sold the highest number of properties during the three months to the end of April since February 2008.

But the number of new homes being put up for sale fell for the fourth consecutive month, putting further upward pressure on prices.

May 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM Leave a comment

Top 10 Rural Retreats

Sick of the hustle and bustle of the city? Want to see what the rural life has to offer? Here are some fantastic rural retreats to get you thinking.

1. A modern home camouflaged as agricultural barns to rest easily within the landscape.
Five bed in Somerset – Carter Jonas


2. What’s not to love?
Ten bed in Wentworth – Hanover Private Office


3. A striking church conversion with immaculately kept grounds.
Four bed in Shropshire – Savills – Telford


4. Too cute for words.
Five bed in Romford – Chewton Rose – West Essex


5. This adorable cottage comes with 20 acres and permission for stables.
Three bed in Dorking – Chewton Rose – Leatherhead


6. Plenty of room for the kids to play and they even get a tree house!
Seven bed in Kingsbridge – Marchand Petit


7. House on a hill + the countryside = amazing views.
Four bed in South Cornwall – Lillicrap Chilcott


8. Picture perfect. The interior doesn’t disappoint either.
Six bed in Surrey – Knight Frank – Country Houses


9. A dream home for those planning a move to the country.
Three bed in Wiltshire – Fine & Country – Bath


10. This adorable cottage is only a short walk from the beach, what more could you want?
Three bed in Cornwall – Lillicrap Chilcott


Send us a link via Twitter to your #propertyoftheweek on Zoopla and our favourites will feature on the blog every Friday.

May 9, 2014 at 10:10 AM 1 comment

Property bubble fears abated by latest house price data from Halifax

House price gains eased during April as the property market showed signs of moderating, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

08.04.14 House prices

The average cost of a home dipped by 0.2 per cent during the month, the second consecutive monthly decline, it said.

The annual rate of growth also slowed, with house prices 8.5 per cent higher than they had been 12 months earlier at £177,648, compared with a year-on-year gain of 8.7 per cent in March.

The figures are likely to help ease concerns that a bubble may be building up in the property market.

They come in the same week that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that the booming property market could threaten the UK’s economic recovery.

It said the UK should introduce measures to address the risks of “excessive house price inflation”, as property values now “significantly exceed long-term averages relative to rents and household incomes.”

But figures from the Bank of England, that showed mortgage approvals for house purchase had fallen for two consecutive months, suggest the market may already be moderating.

Despite the monthly drop and slowdown in annual house price inflation, Halifax said demand for property still remained strong.

It added that the monthly figures tended to be volatile, and the quarter-on-quarter change offered a more reliable indicator of the underlying market trend.

House prices rose by 2.3 per cent during the three months to the end of April – within the 1.8 per cent to 2.3 per cent range seen during the past 11 months.

Stephen Noakes Stephen Noakes, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Although mortgage approvals have now declined for two consecutive months and property transactions fell in March, on an annual basis housing demand still remains strong.

“Housing demand continues to be supported by an economic recovery that is gathering pace, rising consumer confidence, low interest rates and wage growth finally beginning to outgrow consumer prices.

“However, with supply of properties being slow to respond to market conditions, stronger demand in the past year has resulted in upward pressure on house prices.”

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors expects this trend to continue, as the mismatch between supply and demand intensified during April.

The group said chartered surveyor estate agents sold the highest number of properties during the three months to the end of April since February 2008.

But the number of new homes being put up for sale fell for the fourth consecutive month, putting further upward pressure on prices.

The Halifax figures differ from ones reported by Nationwide for the same period, which showed house prices rising by 1.2 per cent during April, while annual growth was 10.9 per cent, the highest rate since July 2007.

May 8, 2014 at 10:17 AM Leave a comment

Estate agents sell highest number of homes in more than 6 years

House prices were pushed higher during April as the mismatch between supply and demand continued, research showed today.

Woman looks in estate agents window

The average chartered surveyor estate agent sold 23 properties during the three months to the end of April, the highest level since February 2008.

But the number of new homes being put up for sale fell for the fourth consecutive month, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The group said the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand was a key driver of price appreciation and indicated that house prices remained firmly on an upward trend.

Despite the shortage of homes on the market, 26 per cent more surveyors reported a rise in sales than those who saw a fall.

The trend looks set to continue, with 33 per cent more surveyors expecting a further rise in sales levels going into the summer.

The mismatch between supply and demand is being seen across Britain, with surveyors in nine out of the 12 regions reporting a decline in the number of new properties put up for sale during the month.

Meanwhile, growth in new buyer enquiries was positive across all regions.

Across Britain 48 per cent more surveyors expect further price rises during the coming three months, while 72 per cent predict prices will increase in the next 12 months.

Overall, surveyors expect the average cost of a home to rise by an average of 6 per cent a year in the coming five years.

There are also signs that the recovery is broadening out from London, with 62 per cent more surveyors in the North West and 57 per cent more in East Anglia expecting price rises going forward.

These figures compare with 49 per cent more in London, down from 61 per cent in March.

Simon RubinsohnSimon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: “House prices in general look set to remain firmly on the upward trend, although interestingly, there are some tentative signs that the price momentum in the London market may begin to slow in the second half of the year.

“The critical issue for the market remains the lack of second hand supply with our numbers suggesting that the picture is, if anything, getting worse.

“It is too early to conclude whether this will undermine the positive trend in transactions volumes, but clearly the absence of properties to buy will ultimately be a factor in influencing the ability of people to move homes.”

RICS said the stronger housing market was being supported by more favourable credit conditions.

The figures come the day after Chancellor George Osborne signalled the Government may consider scaling back its Help to Buy scheme amid concerns that Britain’s property market is in danger of overheating.

His comments were in response to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that warned the booming property market could threaten the UK’s economic recovery.

It called for access to the Help to Buy scheme to be tightened, and said buyers should be required to put down bigger deposits for mortgages.


May 8, 2014 at 7:00 AM 1 comment

Gogglebox’s ‘posh couple’ Steph & Dom put £3.5m home on the market

This article has been updated and moved… here


May 7, 2014 at 3:06 PM Leave a comment

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