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December rise sees average UK house price hit £250,000

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December rise sees average UK house price hit £250,000

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance

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The average cost of a home in the UK has hit £250,000, following a 5.5% price rise in December, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics have revealed.

At 5.7% England saw the greatest increase, followed by 4.8% in both Wales and Northern Ireland, and 0.5% in Scotland.

England is the only part of the UK where property prices are now higher than the pre-financial crisis peak of January 2008.

Though good news for homeowners, the price rise spells more gloom for first time buyers struggling to get onto the housing ladder.

Earlier this month, research revealed that 4.1 million British adults have given up on the idea of ever owning their own home, with the average cost of a house for first time buyers having increased by 480% over the past 30 years.

Adam Morton, policy leader at the National Housing Federation, said: “These figures are another reminder that home ownership is moving beyond the reach of more and more people across England. With house prices and rents continuing to rise, many families are finding it increasingly difficult to get on the housing ladder.

“Quite simply, we are not building enough homes to keep up with demand. We need to build more of the right homes in the right places for the right prices. We need measures that directly increase supply as well as stimulate demand, and a longer-term strategy that finds other ways to deliver homes. It’s time for us all – politicians, industry and local people – to say yes to homes.”

Among those celebrating the price increase was Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agents Marsh & Parsons. He said: “Like chinks of sunlight, house price growth is breaking out across the whole country; however the picture remains gloomier in Scotland and Wales where property prices are yet to surpass the pre-financial crisis peak of January 2008.

“The London property market is burning the brightest, with a 12.3% annual house price increase in the capital hugely eclipsing the rate of growth witnessed elsewhere in the UK. In Prime London, the growth is even higher – we saw the average value of two-bedroom properties rise by nearly £100,000 during 2013, following a 17% annual growth."

The Chartered Institute of Housing's director of policy and practice, Gavin Smart, said: “According to the ONS house prices have risen across all parts of the UK, with a particularly worrying increase in London.  This is no cause for celebration – house price increases are continuing to outstrip growth in incomes with more and more people struggling to afford a decent home.  We are not building enough new homes, and if demand continues to outstrip supply prices will inevitably continue to rise, affecting not just the affordability of home ownership but also market renting."

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