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Nationwide: UK Property Prices Accelerating

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London Property Prices  Robert Gardner  Help to Buy  Funding for Lending Scheme 

Nationwide: UK Property Prices Accelerating

By - Monday 30 September 2013

House prices in the UK rose by 0.9 per cent in September, which marks a five per cent year-on-year increase, according to Nationwide’s latest index, published today (Friday September 27th). The average UK home is now worth GBP 172,127.

Price growth is now at its strongest pace since July 2010, according to the research, with southern regions of England, particularly London, continuing to exhibit the strongest growth in the country. 

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said there are signs that the pickup is covering a wider area. Indeed, the index revealed that all 13 UK regions enjoyed annual house prive growth in the third quarter of 2013. This is the first time this has occurred since 2007. 

“The acceleration in house price growth from the subdued pace prevailing throughout 2011 and 2012 has been surprisingly quick, though house prices are still some way below their previous peaks in most parts of the country.  Overall, UK house prices are still around eight per cent below their 2007 highs,” he said. 

However, it was noted that there is still significant regional variation, with prices in Scotland, Wales and the North of England staying at around 12 to 14 per cent below their previous highs. In addition, even in the south prices are around five to seven per cent lower. 

Prices in London are, however, at an all time high. They currently stand at around eight per cent above their previous peak. 

According to Mr Gardner, this demand is being supported by an improvement in the availability and a reduction in the cost of credit. This is partly due to a result of new policies like the Funding for Lending Scheme and Help to Buy. 

He added: “The improving economic outlook is also encouraging more people to take their first steps into the property market. Consumer confidence has increased significantly in recent months, thanks to further modest gains in employment and signs that the UK recovery is finally gathering momentum.”

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