UK house prices up almost 10% in year to December 2014

Taylor Scott International News

UK house prices increased by 9.8% in the year to December 2014, down from 9.9% in the year to November 2014, according to the latest official figures. House price annual inflation was 10.2% in England, 4% in Wales, 5.5% in Scotland and 4.9% in Northern Ireland, the figures from the Office of National Statistics show. The index report says that house prices continue to increase strongly across the majority of the UK, with prices in London again showing the highest growth. Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in London of 13.3% and to a lesser extent increases in the South East of 11.5% and the East at 11.4%. However, excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 7.4% in the 12 months to December 2014. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.7% between November and December 2014, the data also shows. In December 2014, prices paid by first time buyers were 9.5% higher on average than in December 2013. For existing owners, prices increased by 9.8% for the same period. According to Graham Davidson, managing director of Sequre Property Investment, the annual increase in 2014 in London is not sustainable and prices simply cannot continue to grow at this rate throughout 2015. But Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, pointed out that house price growth has wavered recently and quietened down from a thunderous charge earlier in 2014. ‘But property values ended the year on a stronger note, with a sturdy monthly upswing in December. Rankings of annual growth across the country still read in neat geographical order with price inflation flowing out from the London and the South East, and northern regions bringing up the rear,’ he explained. ‘Schemes like Help to Buy have jump started growth in these regions, where homes are cheaper and prices still to break free of the long shadow of the recession. While the London market is adjusting to more sustainable conditions and taking a breather, other parts of the UK now have their moment to shine,’ he added. He also said that it is encouraging to see new price records being set in Wales and the West Midlands in December. ‘Lower stamp duty and record low mortgage rates should act as further injections of support to make sure the housing recovery drives further forward across the country,’ he added. Continue reading →

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