Financial News

  • 29 January 2014, 22:31

Report: Average House Price Up 8.8% In 2013

UK house prices climbed by an annual rate of 8.8% in January, extending the fastest pace of increase since 2010.

According to the Nationwide, values were up in January by 0.7% month-on-month, making the average home worth 176,491.

The high street lender said it was the 13th continuous monthly rise as confidence in the economy returns.

But it said prices are still around 4% beneath the peak levels of 2007.

The results come just a day after the Office for National Statistics revealed UK economic growth in 2013 reached 1.9%, with four quarters of growth.

Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner said: "The housing market is continuing to gather momentum on the back of further solid gains in employment, record low mortgage rates and rising confidence."

Mr Gardner said indications were that the sector is approaching pre-recession "normal levels".

HM Revenue and Customs revealed that last month a total of 103,000 house sales occurred across the country.

That figure was a rise of 30% on the same month in 2012.

The British Bankers' Association recently said that mortgage approvals hit 46,000 in December and the figure was the highest number for six years.

Mr Gardner added: "The pick-up in activity appears to be fairly broad-based, and it is encouraging that first-time buyers are a key driving factor behind the upturn."

On Tuesday, the Government said that nearly 13,000 Help To Buy scheme new build loans occurred since its launch nine months ago.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.