UK house prices now ahead of pre-crisis boom

House prices in England and Wales have hit a new high in June, overtaking the pre-recession high reached during the 2007 property boom.

terraced houses, London
Official data from the Land Registry – regarded as the most accurate of the UK's property indices – showed the typical price of a home had reached £181,619 in June, surpassing the £180,983 recorded in November 2007.The Land Registry said the average home saw 1.1 per cent added to its value in June alone, with London boroughs recording an annual price growth of almost 10 per cent.Guy Meacock, head of the London office of buying agency Prime Purchase, said the company was now seeing increasing interest from international buyers.
"Expats here on holiday – visiting family, for example – are taking the opportunity to get in front of sellers and see what is available."Selling agents have had a very difficult start to the year, but the market is building momentum and it could be a busier autumn."Over the year, the Land Registry reported that average house prices had increased by 5.4 per cent over the year, with increases ranging from 9.2 per cent in London to only 1.4 per cent in Yorkshire and Humberside.The average house price in London now stands at £481,820 with several outlying boroughs seeing double-digit increases over the past year, led by a 16 per cent rise in Newham.Andrew Montlake, director at Coreco Mortgage Brokers, predicted that prices would probably hold firm for the rest of the year with demand remaining strong and the shortage of good quality property on the market continuing to be an issue."With interest rates looking like they will rise in the next 12 months, we are likely to see more demand for mortgages as people look to take advantage of some of the low rates on offer before they are gone and house prices increase further," he said.However, Campbell Robb, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said, "When house prices soar by this much in a single year thanks to our housing shortage, it's clear that for millions of people across the country, a home of your own is fast becoming a pipe dream."For people stuck in their childhood bedrooms into their 30s, or families having to put up with expensive and insecure renting, the housing market isn't working for ordinary people."The prime minister's election placard promising 'a home of your own' is on the verge of becoming an empty promise. The only way for the government to turn this crisis around is to urgently invest in the genuinely affordable homes we need."For more Re:locate news and features about residential property, click here