UK house prices record highest monthly increase since June

  • 9 years ago
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London, where only 43 properties are affordable enough for an average family buying their first home
UK house prices have risen by the highest monthly amount since June 2014, according to Nationwide.
The lender’s new house price index shows that house prices edged up 1 per cent in April 2015 compared to March 2015, a far quicker increase than the 0.1 per cent monthly growth recorded in the previous month. The average house price is now £193,048, 5.2 per cent higher than April 2014. 
The increase in prices arrives in the run-up to May’s general election, which has seen sales activity and lending slow down, thanks to uncertainty ahead of the vote.
“The pace of activity in the housing market has remained fairly subdued in recent months,” says  Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist. “The number of mortgage approvals is still well below its long run average and 20 per cent below the levels recorded in early 2014.
What is behind the anomaly? Gardner says that while it is possible heightened uncertainty ahead of the election is weighing on activity, there is “no compelling evidence” from previous UK elections to suggest a strong impact.
“Healthy labour market conditions and continued low mortgage rates should help underpin housing demand in the quarters ahead,” he comments.
The rise in house prices occurs as new figures from Shelter highlight how difficult it is for first-time buyer families to climb the property ladder.
The housing charity analysed asking prices for hundreds of thousands of properties for sale throughout the country, and compared them with the mortgage that an average family buying their first home could afford.
The research revealed that across the country only 17 per cent of homes for sale are affordable for families that need at least two bedrooms, and only 7 per cent are affordable for larger families looking for homes with three bedrooms or more. 
Photo: Martie1Swart

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