House prices continue to rise – industry reacts to latest official figures

Thursday 17th November 2016

The average cost of a property in the UK during September was £217,888 after prices edged up by 0.2% from August.
This is according to the latest official UK House Price Index, issued by the Land Registry.
Meanwhile, annual house price growth stood at 7.7% during September. 
In England, the September data shows an annual price increase of 8.3% which takes the average property value to £234,250. Average prices also edged up by 0.2% on a monthly basis.
Wales shows an annual price increase of 4.4%, which takes the average property value to £146,388.
Annual price growth in the capital was recorded at 10.9% during September, bringing the average property value in London up to £487,649.
According to the figures, prices in London increased by 1.4% between August and September.
The highest annual growth was recorded in the East of England (12.1%), while London recorded the strongest monthly figure.
Weakest annual growth was recorded in the North East (1.5%) - the region which also recorded the lowest monthly growth with movement of -1.9%.
Home sales in the UK fell by 4.3% between August and September, with levels remaining lower than in 2014, 2015 and before the stamp duty changes in early 2016.
The number of completed house sales in England fell by 28.1% to 66,870 compared with 93,040 in July 2015, and in Wales transactions dropped by 23.4% when compared to July 2015.
During the same period, the number of completed sales in London fell by 43.3% to 7,704 from 12,481 in July last year.
A number of property experts have had their say on the latest official figures. Here is a round-up of their comments:
Ian Thomas, co-founder and director of LendInvest:
"A modest uptick in buyer enquiries continues to meet a constrained supply of housing across the UK."
"What RICS describes as a "dire shortage of supply" sends a clear message that government must use the Autumn Statement and its forthcoming Housing White Paper to introduce measures to put more homes on British streets."
Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club:
“House prices have once again increased annually across the UK. Although many would welcome today’s figures as a sign of stability in our housing market, these results also expose the fundamental flaw that is stopping many buyers from getting onto the property ladder."
“The volume of available housing stock across the UK is simply not adequate.  We need to make the housing market work for everyone, but this can only be achieved once we start realigning house price inflation with wage inflation." 
"With the Autumn Statement approaching, our new Chancellor will be setting the course for the future of our housing market. Hopefully, we will be presented with some innovative, Government-backed initiatives that will help to solve our nation’s worsening housing crisis once and for all.”
John Goodall, chief executive and co-founder of Landbay:
“Political uncertainty has helped take the edge off house price inflation in the short term, but the unavoidable truth is that we’re simply not building enough homes to meet the nation’s growing need. It’s not a new problem, demand for new households has exceeded the number of new homes built in every year since 2008, but it’s been thrown into sharp relief recently by a higher price to build, a consistently growing population, and relatively stagnant wage growth."
“Record low mortgage rates are helping those who have already stumped up a deposit, but this isn’t much relief to aspiring homeowners looking to get their foot on the housing ladder in the coming months.”
Tal Orly, chief executive of Cogress:
"The latest data reinforces what other recent indices have continued to show; that the dust seems to have settled after the referendum result."
"Rather than seeing any significant fall in overall property values, the ongoing strong growth in house prices can be attributed to the favourable combination of strong buyer confidence, record low borrowing costs and interest rates, along with a continued supply shortage."
Graham Davidson, managing director of Sequre Property Investment:
“House price growth remains stable in September but that doesn’t tell much of the story, instead we should be looking at the previous ongoing monthly and indeed year on year growth, which presents a positive picture reflective of a resilient wider economy."
"The Bank of England reported that mortgage approvals hit a three-month high in September which is telling of a market that is moving."

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