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House Prices up by 8.4% in 2013


According to data recently released by Nationwide, house prices rose by 8.4% in 2013 as the UK economy gained momentum. The annual rise put the average house price at £175,826, which the building society says is only 5% below the peak seen in 2007. The survey is based on Nationwide’s own data, so it cannot be classed as a comprehensive picture, but its monthly figures, along with the other major lender, Halifax, are widely considered to be a good indication of market trend.

This is the first survey to be published that shows figures for the whole of 2013 and it suggests that house prices accelerated in an upwards direction at the end of the year.  They rose by 1.4% in December, compared to November, and were up 2.9% in the last quarter, compared to the third quarter.

Robert Gardner, the Nationwide’s chief economist said: “The UK housing market followed the trajectory of the wider economy through 2013, gaining momentum as the year progressed.  Part of the reason for the acceleration in house price growth is that the supply side of the market has not kept pace with the upturn in demand, even though buyer numbers remain subdued by historic standards.”

As always, with data that is based across the whole of the UK, some caution most be urged due to the hotbed of property price rise that is London.  Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), based on mortgage completions in the year to the end of October 2013, show that prices rose in London by 12% in London, as opposed to 5.5% in the rest of the UK.

The Bank of England certainly seem to think that buyer activity is picking up; its figures show 70,758 mortgage approvals for the month of November, which is its highest figure since January 2008.

Sources: bbc.co.uk, nationwide.co.uk (image courtesy of theguardian.com)