LSL Acad March England & Wales HPI: HOUSE PRICES UP £6,700 IN THE PAST YEAR

House prices up £6,700 in the past year

  • But without London, house prices would be just £1,117 higher
  • Prices have only fallen once in the past 16 months
  • House prices increase £532 in March

House Price

Index

Monthly Change %

Annual Change %

£230,078

234.2

0.2

3.0

 

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services plc, owner of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “House prices in England and Wales rose £532 between February and March and have only fallen once in the last sixteen months, signalling that the housing market is now well clear of the storm clouds of the financial crisis. Values have risen £6,701 in the past year, and life has become marginally easier for first time buyers and house sales are increasing.”

But there is still a long way to go. Mortgage availability is poor by historic standards. There is an army of first time buyers trying to enter the housing market but they are being held back by tough mortgage criteria. Thankfully the Government’s new initiatives inspire confidence, most notably the Help to Buy scheme, which should prove to be a real helping hand.

The key to the recovery of the housing market is more mortgages for first time buyers. The Funding for Lending scheme has gone some way to doing that. It has eased the pressure on the market, allowing lenders to lower mortgage rates which have helped boost the first time buyer market. But it needs to be increased in scale if it is to have a more significant effect.

Sadly, the improvements in mortgage availability, prices and sales have not been spread evenly across England and Wales. Big regional disparities remain. The market in the South East, particularly London, is going great guns, but less affluent areas are struggling. While the north is showing less resilience, having experienced the largest fall in house prices, areas in the South including Brighton, Surrey, Bristol and Cardiff have seen prices soar. The fast rate of growth seen in London has pushed the annual rise in England and Wales, to 3%. But take London out of the equation and price growth is just 0.5%. ”

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