18 Apr

House prices up 7.2 per cent

House prices up 7.2 per cent

House prices across the UK have increased by 7.2 per cent over the past year, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Broken down into regions, prices saw rises of 7.4 per cent in England, 1.1 per cent in Wales, 6.4 per cent in Scotland and 14.2 per cent in Northern Ireland.

The figures suggest that the general price inflation in the housing sector is slowing down across the UK, with a 10.7 per cent rise in the East and 9.4 per cent in London driving the majority of value increases.

Once London and the South East are excluded from the data, prices in the UK increased by a more sedate 5.9 per cent in the year to February.

The situation for first-time buyers has worsened with them having to pay an average 7.4 per cent more to step on to the property ladder compared to the same point in 2014.

However, it would still appear that recent steps by the Bank of England to limit the growth of the housing market have been effective and there has been a cooling down in price rises.

Peter Williams, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), explained: "Seeing annual price rises dip below an annual increase of six per cent outside London and the South East is a step in the right direction to improve affordability," he said.

"However, in part the slowdown has only been possible by squeezing potential buyers out of the market by restricting access to finance, creating some extra breathing space for politicians to get to grips with the fundamental supply/demand imbalance," he added.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801784149-ADNFCR

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