House prices record fastest growth in almost three years
A string of recent studies have pointed to signs that the housing market is picking up, helped by Government initiatives such as Funding for Lending, which gives lenders access to cheap finance and has prompted a sharp increase in mortgage availability as well as lenders slashing their rates.
In a further sign that the market is gathering pace, average UK prices have gone up to £168,941, marking the strongest year-on-year uplift seen since September 2010.
New figures from Nationwide reveal that on a month-on-month basis, house prices rose by 0.3% in June, marking a slight slowdown compared with a 0.4% rise recorded the previous month.
The building society said that Government efforts to kickstart the market, as well as a lack of available homes to buy, are helping to bolster house prices.
However, there are big regional divides.
Prices in London now stand at a new all-time high at an average £318,214, which is 5% above their previous 2007 peak.
By contrast, prices across the UK are still around 9% below their pre-crisis peak. Prices in England are currently 5% lower than those seen in 2007, while they are 13% down in Wales, 12% lower in Scotland and have plummeted by 53% in Northern Ireland compared with their 2007 levels.
Ten out of 13 areas across the UK have seen house prices increase over the last year, while three - Scotland, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire and Humberside - have seen falls.
Among England’s cities outside London, Newcastle saw the biggest housing market jump year on year, with prices up by 11% to reach £173,296 on average, while Liverpool saw the biggest annual drop, with an 8% slide taking prices to around £142,454.