May 30, 2013
The Property Market Is Improving
Housing market picking up
According to figures from the ONS house prices rose 0.4% in March, from February, while they have climbed by 2.7% year-on-year. The average home is now worth £235,000 up from £229,000. The increases were driven by big rises in the capital and the South East, where prices rose 7.6% and 3.3% respectively. However, excluding these two regions, UK house prices rose by 0.6% in the year. House prices fell by 2% in Northern Ireland, and 1.7% in Scotland. Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight, said:"A strong upward move still seems unlikely given an on-going challenging and uncertain economic environment, despite the recent signs of moderate improvement." Separately, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lendersestimate that mortgage lending increased by 4% in April to the highest level in more than four years. The figures reveal that the value of loans advanced during the month, without taking into account repayments, showed £12.1bn worth of mortgages were taken out in April, up from £11.6bn in March. The figure was 21% higher than that for April 2012, but the CML cautioned that meaningful comparisons of the two months were difficult as the end of stamp duty holiday on properties worth up to £250,000 in March 2012 had led to a dearth of sales immediately afterwards.