ONS: UK house prices up 5.5 per cent in December

UK house prices increased by 5.5% in December 2013 compared with a year earlier, up from 5.4% in November 2013 according to new data today from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The average UK house price reached £250,000 in December 2013.

House prices grew by 5.7% in England, 4.8% in Wales, 0.5% in Scotland and 4.8% in Northern Ireland.

House price growth is beginning to increase strongly across parts of the UK, with prices in London increasing at more than double the UK average.

Annual house price increases in England were driven by rises in London (12.3%), the East (4.6%) and the West Midlands (4.3%).

Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 3.1% in the 12 months to December 2013.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.9% between November and December 2013.

In December 2013, prices paid by first-time buyers were 7.4% higher on average than in December 2012. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 4.7% for the same period.

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3 thoughts on “ONS: UK house prices up 5.5 per cent in December

  1. Peter Rollings, CEO Marsh & Parsons

    “Bucking the trend of a typical winter lull, average house prices rose 0.9% in the month to December 2013 with the average UK house price reaching £250,000 by the end of last year. Like chinks of sunlight, house price growth is breaking out across the whole country; however the picture remains gloomier in Scotland and Wales where property prices are yet to surpass the pre-financial crisis peak of January 2008.

    “The London property market is burning the brightest, with a 12.3% annual house price increase in the capital hugely eclipsing the rate of growth witnessed elsewhere in the UK. In Prime London, the growth is even higher – we saw the average value of two-bedroom properties rise by nearly £100,000 during 2013, following a 17% annual growth. Across the capital, the ratio of supply and demand remains out of kilter, which is helping to push prices upwards. In January, 19% more buyers entered the market in competition for 28% fewer properties, compared to a year earlier. This has created a strong seller’s market, with properties selling in record time and for closer to the asking price than ever before. However, we expect a return to more normal conditions in the spring, when more people typically put their property on the market.”

  2. David Newnes, LSL Property Services

    “The property market is marching forward, as the recovery wades in through all parts of the country. House price growth continues to pick up, with prices up 5.5% annually in December. Looking at the picture in the long term, these sustained price increases are encouraging as more muted, yet significant, price growth indicates that the return to health in the property market is happening in a sustainable fashion.

    “There’s certainly an infectious confidence bubbling around the marketplace, with many more aspiring buyers coming into the market. With solid growth in employment, record low mortgage rates and easing credit conditions, the property market is going from strength to strength. First-time buyers have been spurred to action by cheaper rates, a boost in the available higher loan to value mortgages and government support in the form of the Help to Buy scheme. However ultimately, a durable, successful property market requires the government to focus more on new house building in order to increase supply levels and keep up with rising demand.”

  3. Stuart Law, CEO of Assetz

    “Every region of the UK, even those that were previously struggling, is now seeing growth which is a huge confidence boost for the country. Over the next year we will see these regions contributing even more to overall growth and we predict 10% annual growth across the UK in both 2014 and 2015. We advise keeping a weather eye on the current property cycle – the ‘top’ is still a distant prospect and the Governor of the Bank of England has given his assurances, albeit with a string of caveats, that base rates will remain at 0.5% until the middle of next year.

    “Property investment is still streets ahead compared to any other form of investment returns, however, capital growth in many areas of the country is now overtaking profits from rents which are not keeping up with house prices. Southern investors are broadly unaware of the lucrative yields available in northern markets, at prices that have not yet reflected the price growth of the next cycle.”

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