House prices soar by 10% in 12 months
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance
For sale sign
Average house prices across the UK rose by 9.1% in the year to February, the Office of National Statistics' latest figures have shown.
Though prices have soared most dramatically in England (9.7%), Wales (5.3%), Scotland (2.4%) and Northern Ireland (2.8%) all saw rises.
Once again, London was the region which registered the greatest price hike (17%), followed by the South East (8%) and the East of England (7.7%).
If London and the South East are excluded from the equation, English house prices climbed by only 5.8% in the 12 months to February.
In February, prices paid by first-time buyers were 10.5% higher on average than in February 2013, while for owner-occupiers prices increased by 8.6% for the same period.
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “This government is committed to delivering long-term economic stability and growth – the last administration oversaw a housing boom and bust and this government has been picking up the pieces. Mortgage lending activity in the housing market remain below the historic average and relative to earnings, median house prices across England are around the same level they were in 2005.
“We have a series of initiatives to boost housing supply, including the provision of affordable housing and to support a healthy private rented sector. Our long-term economic plan and efforts to cut the record deficit we inherited mean interest rates remain at a record low making homeownership more affordable
“And through schemes like help to buy we’re helping people get on the property ladder with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require, with leading developers pledging to build more as a direct result of this increased demand.”