Mortgages  

Average property prices increase by over £5k in Feb

Average property prices increase by over £5k in Feb

Average property prices increased by over £5,000 last month, meaning the average property price in February is £279,004, data from Rightmove’s monthly house price index has revealed.

Property prices increased by 2.1 per cent this month, which equates to £5,729, compared with January’s figure of 1.4 per cent. The annual rate is now 6.6 per cent, compared to last month’s 8.2 per cent.

Last week, LSL’s house price index for England and Wales showed that house prices have slowed to the smallest yearly improvement witnessed for 10 months, at 7.5 per cent annual growth.

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Rightmove’s data also showed there has been a 31 per cent increase in housing transactions in the last two years in England and Wales, outstripping the 11 per cent rise in the number of properties coming to the market over the same period of time.

It added that some agents reported the lowest ever stock of quality property for sale, due to lower owner-occupation, buy-to-let investors not selling and owners’ reluctance to ‘sell before you find’.

This all contributed to a 4 per cent fall in new seller numbers, compared to the same period in 2014.

Jeremy Duncombe, director at Legal and General Mortgage Club, said that with house prices on the rise, lending this year is also likely to increase.

“Our prediction is that 2015 will be a strong year for the mortgage market overall, with gross lending likely to reach around £225bn. Activity will be boosted as interest rates seem set to remain low for the foreseeable future and stamp duty changes should make buying a home seem more affordable.

He added: “Unchecked price growth will exacerbate the housing crisis in the UK, so it is essential that the government, housebuilders and the housing market more generally work together to build more houses.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com