UK house prices up 5.7% year on year, slight annual rise, ONS data shows

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UK house prices increased by 5.7% in the year to May 2015, up from 5.5% in the year to April 2015, the latest official property market data shows. House price annual inflation was 5.8% in England, 2.5% in Wales, 2.9% in Scotland and 10.5% in Northern Ireland, according to the index from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The pace of annual house price growth increased slightly across the majority of the UK in May 2015 taking he average mix-adjusted house price to £274,000 and was driven by an annual increase of 9.3% in the East of England and 8.2% in the South East. Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.2% in the 12 months to May 2015 and on a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.9% between April and May 2015. In May 2015, prices paid by first time buyers were 5.1% higher on average than in May 2014 and for existing owners prices increased by 5.9% for the same period. The data shows that the regional disparities of the property market are steadily shrinking as price growth becomes more broad based, according to Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders. ‘London and South East England remain strong hotspots, but as the rates of price rises there return to more sober levels, five of the nine English regions saw their rate of price growth rise and the East of England, powered in part by an extraordinary surge in activity in Cambridge, has the fastest growing property values,’ he said. ‘Even North East England, which was hit hardest by the slump, is now seeing price growth of nearly 2% a year. Demand exceeds supply for all but the most expensive prime property, and this is steadily forcing prices up across the board,’ he explained. ‘Despite mortgages being at their cheapest level for years, buyers are still intensely value sensitive and in some regions seller expectations have been outstripping what buyers are willing to pay. Though confidence among both buyers and sellers remains high, as the summer slowdown begins, sellers must be wary of letting their pricing ambitions run away from what the market will tolerate,’ he added. Alex Gosling, chief executive officer of online estate agents HouseSimple, pointed out that despite the rate of price growth slightly decelerating, demand has remained constant. ‘A shortage of stock during the pre-election uncertainty stilted the market, however the flurry of properties which have come on since the election's clear result have coincided with a strong return to confidence,’ he said. ‘Both sellers and buyers are trusting the market more, prompted by steady economic growth, better employment prospects and a boost in earnings. But it is worth noting that vendors may consider it to be a sellers' market, but buyers are not making the same mistakes of the last boom, as they remain sensitive to both price and affordability,’ he added. With house price growth… Continue reading →

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