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UK Housing in Recovery Evidence Shows

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First Time Buyers  UK Housing Market  LSL Property Services  David Newnes  Office of National Statistics  Funding for Lending  Help to Buy 

UK Housing in Recovery Evidence Shows

By - Thursday 20 June 2013

According to the latest data from the Office of national Statistics UK house prices increased by 2.6 percent in the year ending April, with London as usual outpacing the rest of the country.

Speaking of outpacing; house prices in Wales increased by 6.2 percent during the year according to the report, compared to a growth of 2.8 percent in England. These were offset by a 1.2 percent decrease in Scotland and a 0.8 percent decrease in Northern Ireland. (Although prices are declining at a slower pace in Ireland.) 

The consensus of the data was that the UK housing market looks to be on the path of recovery, with London continuing to lead from the front. The report said that demand in London is expected to continue outpacing supply and putting continued upward pressure on prices.

The average home price in London increased by 6.0 percent to GBP 414,000 in April from a year earlier, compared to the average of GBP 238,000 for the U.K., according to the ONS.  

The U.K. housing market has received a boost from government programs aimed at increasing lending and mortgage availability.  

"Schemes like Help to Buy and Funding for Lending have acted like a steroid injection for the mortgage market and made it markedly stronger than last year," David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, told the Financial Times.

The problem being that wages are once again rising much slower than average home prices, which is further exacerbated by hesitancy to sell leaving first time buyers still struggling to enter the property market.

In April, the average home price paid by a first-time buyer in the U.K. was  GPB 179,000, a 4.7 percent yearly increase, the ONS reports. This is compared to an average increase of 1.9 percent for existing owners, who paid an average of GBP 273,000 for their homes. 

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