Housing prices in the UK have grown by 4.9% since January 2017, according to the UK housing pricing index (HPI), with Scotland and the East Midlands seeing the largest growth at 7.3%.
However, despite the increase in housing price, January 2018 saw the largest level of mortgage approvals (67,000) since July 2017 and 6,000 more than December 2017, as illustrated in the Bank of England’s Money and Credit release.
Scotland and the East Midlands experienced the highest levels of growth, whilst the North East saw the lowest growth of 0.7% followed by London at 2.1%. Across the UK, all regions and countries experienced growth in the housing market.
Average housing prices in London remained the highest at £485,830 followed by the South East at £323,435, whereas the North East of England saw average prices of £122,870.
The HPI indicates that first-time buyers are spending on average £189,859 on their first home, 0.6% lower than the figures reported in December 2017, but an overall growth of 4.6% since January 2017. However, former owner occupiers were spending £262,282 on a new property, seeing a growth of 5.1% over the year.
Foresters Friendly Society chief executive Paul Osborn commented: “For most households, achieving home ownership is not just a top saving priority but the ultimate goal. However, sky high prices, limited choice and competition to secure mortgage finances can often leave first-time buyers wondering if they will ever be able to attain the dream of home ownership.”
Further commenting on the lack of properties available, Foundation Home Loans director of marketing Paul Osborn stated: “Despite predictions interest rates will double this year and ongoing political uncertainty delaying potential sellers, on the surface it seems like prices are holding. Yes, London prices may be cooling and The Chancellor’s latest figures suggested some 60,000 first-time buyers have now avoided paying stamp duty, but that doesn’t change the fact we are facing a continued lack of property available for sale. Not only is this another hurdle for younger buyers, but ‘second-steppers’ looking to upgrade their homes are being met with sky-high prices and limited choice.
“A call on developers to build and councils to release land will help, but ultimately we need the supply gap to be sorted sooner rather than later.”
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