UK house prices rose by an average of 5.7% in the 12 months to May, up from a 5.5% increase in the year to April 2015, according to the latest Office of National Statistics house price index released yesterday.
The official British Government figures indicate that the pace of annual house price growth in the UK increased slightly, breaking down to show property values up 5.8% in England, 2.5% in Wales, 2.9% in Scotland and 10.5% in Northern Ireland since May 2014.
The rise in England was driven most strongly by homes in the east of the country, where prices rose 9.3% and in the South East, by 8.2%. Prices in London increased at a slower pace, however, of just 4.7%. Nonetheless separate research shows demand for property in the capital has picked up for the first time this year.
Online estate agent eMoov.co.uk reports that the number of people looking for London homes has climbed by 7% since March, following what was a steady decline since June 2014, though the level of demand is still down by 15% on this time last year.
“It doesn’t surprise me that despite the market cooling in some of the capitals more prestigious boroughs, house prices in London have continued to rise,” said Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk. “It’s long been accepted that London is one of the most expensive cities to live in the world, let alone the UK, but now that the average house price has tipped above the half a million pound mark, it really highlights how out of control the property market has become here.”
“The main factor in price growth is always demand and our latest Property Hotspots Index found that of all the London boroughs, demand has increased across the board.”
Agents are optimistic that property in London will continue to perform strongly, but highlight the importance of not treating the city as a single body.
“Rising house prices are a sign of success,” explained Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd. “Particularly in London, a world-class city is witness to world-class competition for the most desirable properties.”
“But it only takes a single stop on the tube to see a completely different side to the capital,” said Bridges. “As people are inventive in their search for a home, our internal figures show unexpected areas like Hackney, in the north east, bounding and leaping ahead of house price growth in the old property strongholds in west London.”
Follow Mansion Global:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Messenger
Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org