Mortgages  

Housing market recovery ’truly national’

The average house price has risen marginally across all 10 regions in England and Wales in October 2013 for the first time in three years, up 0.6 per cent up September, according to LSL Property Services.

Average House Price

Index

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Monthly Change %

Annual Change %

£237,161

241.5

0.6

4.3

 Source: LSL Academetrics

Richard Sexton, the director of e.surv chartered surveyors, part of LSL Property Services, said: “All 10 regions in England and Wales have seen an increase in prices - an astonishing recovery, one that we can now say is truly national.”

In terms of sales,East Anglia has seen the greatest boost at 26 per cent, but even the region with the lowest increase in transactions, the West Midlands, falls only shortly behind, rising by 22 per cent over the past month.

“Even earlier this year, many regions were still struggling to escape from the resilient grasp of the financial crisis,” said Mr Sexton. “But in little over six months, we’ve seen a drastic improvement in the availability of mortgages and increased lending by the banks to those at the lower end of the spectrum.”

He said an increase in demand, driven partly by the second phase of the government-led Help to Buy scheme kicking in this Autumn instead of the original 2014 date, has helped to drive up house prices by an average £1,376 over the past month, and by £9,776 compared to a year ago.

However, Mr Sexton added: “In the face of rises sweeping across the nation, we must ensure that the market doesn’t soar out of reach for those at the bottom of the ladder. It is crucial that government continues to support the growth of new house building to meet the growing demand and prevent properties across the country becoming unaffordable for large portions of the population.”

Adviser view

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager for London-based John Charcol, said: “The help to first-time buyers is going to continue to support the market for the next two to three years. The shared equity scheme is one of the best deals to help those at the bottom of the ladder.

“What we are finding is that a number of our clients using the shared equity scheme are able to buy a more expensive property than they would otherwise have done, either a bigger house or one in a slightly nicer area. This means that they might not have to move again for a while and saves them expense.

“However, the government will need to think about its exit strategy as all the funds could easily be used up within the next couple of years, so it will have to address that issue.”