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House Price Watch – market on the up

Our latest survey of house price reports shows a steady increase

National summary

House prices have increased over the last month and no index has reported a fall with estimated rises from 0.2% to 1.7%. The market has shown a rebound of a slight dip during the winter. However this is not large and is to be expected due to the seasonal impact of a particularly cold few months. Although there has been a 1.3% average increase in prices compared to this time last year little has changed since June 2012 with the gains being made in the first few months of last year.

The impact of this year’s Budget will be interesting. Many analysts are predicting that the new Help to Buy scheme will have an inflationary effect, bolstering demand and therefore pushing up prices. This makes sense. Part of the scheme is a pledge to guarantee £130 billion worth of mortgages which the Treasury estimate will support over 100,000 cheap loans every year.

RICS latest report claims that surveyors believe that the relatively weak start to the year is “transitory” and that “market conditions will strengthen particularly during the second half of the year”.

Regional summary

No regions experienced a fall in average price this month with all but one (East Anglia) showing an increase. Unlike the previous issue of House Price Watch the range of price changes in various regions is relatively small. The largest jump was in the South East (1.8%) and the smallest was in the East (0%).

The North east, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the East Midlands have all moved from falls in price last month to positive figures now as Spring brings more demand and a general boost for prices. It is somewhat surprising to see London not topping this month’s list of largest price increases. Although still a healthy 1.7%, unlike most other regions, its rate of growth has fallen since last month, down from 3.6%. Despite this the capital has still seen a year on year rise of 9%. This means the average homeowner in London has seen the value of their home soar by approximately £40,000 in the last 12 months. In sharp contrast the average home owner in Yorkshire has lost £4,000 off the price of their property.

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