House prices in 'astonishing leap' across country, claim

House prices in 'astonishing leap' across country, claim

House prices have risen across all regions in England and Wales to stand at an average £237,161 – a new record high, the LSL/Acadametrics survey has claimed, ahead of tonight's Panorama programme looking at the question of a house price bubble.

The survey claims that house prices have risen by an average of 4.3% in the last year, and were 0.6% up in October compared with September.

It also claims that in October, there were the most transactions since 2007.

The price quoted by the survey is far higher than the Land Registry’s latest house price (for September) covering England and Wales, which is £167,063.

Instead, the survey, which claims a high degree of accuracy, is much closer to Rightmove’s latest asking price figure of £252,418.

The LSL/Acadametrics survey also says that prices in all regions in England and Wales have risen, for the first time in three years.
David Newnes, director of LSL, said the recovery was “astonishing”.

He said: “There has been a tremendous jump in transactions over the past three months – with the most sales recorded in an October since the onset of the crisis.

“Key to such a surge in activity is the renewed level of confidence seeping back into the market and a plethora of attractive mortgage deals enticing more and more aspiring buyers back into the housing arena.  

“For the first time in nearly three years, all ten regions in England and Wales have seen an increase in prices – an astonishing recovery, and one that we can now say is truly national.  

“Even earlier this year, many regions were still struggling to escape from the resilient grasp of the financial crisis. 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.

“The increase in demand, in part fuelled by the second phase of Help to Buy having being brought forward, has driven up average house prices across the country by £1,376 over the past month and £9,776 from a year ago.

“But despite significant rises, the increased availability and competitiveness of mortgages has also opened the door to a new wave of aspiring buyers who had previously been persistently locked out. The stark rise in first-time buyer activity in particular has given the speed of recovery an even greater uplift.
“Up and down the country, regions are benefiting from the resurgence and experiencing new levels of activity. Up by 26%, East Anglia has seen the greatest boost in sales, but even the region with the lowest rise in transactions, the West Midlands, falls only shortly behind, rising by 22%.

“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.”

* Halifax last week reported that average house prices across the UK are 6.9% higher than a year ago.

Its report, covering October, said the average house price is now £171,991, up 0.7% on September – and far lower than the LSL/Acadametrics price.

Halifax economist Martin Ellis was also much more downbeat. He said: “Despite increases in the past year, both house prices and sales remain below the levels reached at the height of the last housing market cycle.”