Date Published 02 May 2012
Analysis of data from Assetz House Price Watch in the first quarter of 2012 reveals that the housing market has had a strong start to the year despite continued economic gloom, with a 3% rise in house prices since the end of last year.
The average price of a home is now £202,017, an increase of £5,864 since December. This is the highest average house price recorded by House Price Watch since July 2008.
The annualised average rate of growth now stands at 10.3% while the three and six month annualised rates of growth are 12.17% and 3.73% respectively.
Stuart Law, Chief Executive of Assetz, said:
`The year has got off to a strong start, with a 3% rise in average house prices in the first quarter as an average of all of the main indices. Whilst there were a number of factors driving the market upwards, such as a rush to complete purchases ahead of the stamp duty holiday being withdrawn, there were also a number of negative factors such as rising mortgage rates that failed to quell the rise in transactions. In fact, HMRC figures showed a large surge in completed sales in March, up 17% in a month, as house buying demand continued to grow.
`Mortgage lending was also up 30% month on month in February. Nonetheless we still have the ‘new normal’ level of transactions, only around half of those in 2007, and we have no expectation that transaction levels will reach those peaks again for many, many years as we move towards becoming a rental society in the UK.
`We feel that our estimate of a 3% rise in UK house prices for the whole year of 2012, which was at the top of the range of forecasts, could be comfortably achieved, regardless of the initial version of the GDP figures released today indicating that the economy is falling slightly again.
`The UK buy to let community is still one of the main beneficiaries of this double dip recession, with the overall depressed mortgage market driving the private rented sector onwards and upwards. We continue to see strong demand from both experienced and first time investors looking to buy in this strong market.`