Mortgages  

Lending boss moves to quell fears of bubble

The head of lending for the Mortgage Advice Bureau highlighted figures from the latest Land Registry house price index that showed a 3.1 per cent increase year-on-year from October 2012 to October 2013, but a fall of 0.2 per cent since last month.

The average house price now stands at £165,515, compared to £167,063 in September.

Mr Murphy said the data showed a “measured” rise in house prices as prospective buyers were buoyed by low interest rates and government schemes such as the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and the mortgage guarantee initiative.

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However he added: “This rise is far from meteoric and the news that house prices are down 0.2 per cent month-on-month should help to quell fears of excessive price inflation.”

Mr Murphy said that the Bank of England’s decision to withdraw the Funding for Lending scheme from January would clearly affect mortgage rates but it should also ensure a measure of calm going into 2014.

His comments follow research published last month that showed the housing market could scale new heights as the number of chartered surveyors who reported house prices rises reached its highest level in 11 years.

The figures from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors correlated with figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders that showed a 20 per rise in lending since September 2011.

Jeremy Duncombe, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “The signs are that a housing market resurgence is now well underway across the whole of the UK.”

He added that momentum was building far quicker in London and the southeast than in other regions of the country.

Mr Duncombe said: “However figures such as the ones from the Land Registry do seem to show that the benefits of an upturn can largely be felt nationwide.”

Adviser comment:

Jonathan Harris, director of London-based mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “With funding more readily available than at any time in the past five years, and likely to become even more so next year, many buyers are finally able to realise their property-ownership dream.

“The downside is that this surge in demand is pushing up prices, particularly in London where supply is already limited. Buyers are worried that if they do not act now, they will be priced out.”