Financial News

  • 3 July 2014, 12:42

House Prices 'Rise Above 2007 Peak Values'

Average house prices have risen above their 2007 peak values, according to a monthly housing survey.

The Nationwide said that in seasonally-adjusted terms, prices reached the peak in the end of the second quarter.

It said that prices in June recorded their 14th successive monthly rise, up 1% on May's value.

Seen in annual terms, the average rise was 11.8%, making it the fastest pace of growth for nine years.

That annual figure was up from 11.1% recorded in May.

Although rises were seen across the country, with an average home worth almost 189,000, disparity continues to grow.

The high street lender said: "While all regions recorded annual price gains for the fourth quarter in a row, there is still significant variation across the UK, with the South of England continuing to record the strongest rates of growth.

"In particular, London continued to outperform, with prices up by almost 26% in Q2 compared to the same period in 2013."

It added: "The price of a typical property in London reached the 400,000 mark for the first time, with prices in the capital now around 30% above their 2007 highs and more than twice the level prevailing in the rest of the UK when London is excluded.

"In the UK as a whole, prices are less than 1% above their pre-crisis peak. Excluding London they are 0.4% below peak."

Nationwide said newly-implemented stress tests to ensure borrowers can afford a 3% base rate rise, and 85% of applicants limited to 4.5 times loan-to-income levels are "unlikely to have a significant impact" on transactions or growth in the near term.

It also believes as a result of the measures, prices should not become "detached from earnings".

Mounting expectation of the Bank of England (BoE) raising the base rate have probably helped cool market activity, the lender said.

But it warned that attempts by the BoE's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) to help overcome significant problems in the UK housing market were being hampered by forces outside of its control.

Nationwide said: "It is important to note that the FPC does not have the tools to address the fundamental problem in the housing market - the lack of supply.

"While there are encouraging signs that the pace of construction has picked up, the pace of house building is still well below the expected pace of household formation."

The survey comes as construction data for June indicates a four-month high in homebuilding.

The monthly Markit/Cips purchasing managers' index also showed the fastest pace of hiring in the sector since 1997.

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