House values up £42 a day as new upturn predicted

Experts are predicting that Britain's housing market is facing a new upturn. Picture: PA
Experts are predicting that Britain's housing market is facing a new upturn. Picture: PA
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HOMES typically piled £42 a day on to their value throughout 2014 as Britain’s housing market recovery gathered momentum, research from a property website has revealed.

The average property price increased by £15,191 over the past year to reach £268,895, according to Zoopla.

Huge variations in the pace of the recovery have been seen across the country, and two of the three biggest increases were in Scotland.

Over the past year, property values have typically leapt by £81,619 (15.6 per cent) in London, by £27,675 (11.8 per cent) in Edinburgh and by £21,689 (9.7 per cent) in Aberdeen. Dundee also recorded a strong performance, up 8 per cent to a new average of £160,963.

Overall, the average house price in Scotland rose by £11,266 (6.7 per cent) to £179,627.

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Meanwhile, among the weakest-performing cities, average prices have edged up across 2014 by £978 in Bradford and by £1,346 in Hull.

For the second year in a row, Yorkshire and Humberside is the only region where house prices have fallen annually, recording an average decrease of £2,443.

At the start of 2014, a wave of pent-up demand from house hunters was unleashed into the property market, following the full launch of the government’s Help to Buy mortgage support scheme in late 2013.

By mid-2014, there were signs that demand was starting to cool, as speculation mounted over exactly when the Bank of England might start to increase the base rate from its historic 0.5 per cent low, a move which would spell increased mortgage costs.

Stricter mortgage lending rules were also introduced in April, which meant that people looking to buy a home or remortgage had to provide lenders with more detailed information about their spending habits, so that lenders could work out whether or not the home loan they were applying for was truly affordable.

But in recent weeks there have been predictions that housing market activity could pick up again in the new year, following the overhaul of stamp duty unveiled in the Autumn Statement. The majority of people who are liable to pay stamp duty will pay less as a result of the reform.

Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said: “The property market has maintained its momentum during 2014, with price increases across most of the country despite initial concerns that the spate of regulatory policies designed to prevent risky lending would curb demand.

“More regions this year saw property prices increase compared with last year, indicating that the property market recovery continues and that the buoyancy will likely continue in 2015.”

Along with London, Edinburgh and Aberdeen cities where values rose significantly include Newcastle and Reading.

Here are the strongest-performing cities across Britain in terms of house price increases over the last year according to Zoopla, with the average value in December 2014 and the increase in cash and percentage terms:

1. London, £522,105, £81,619, 15.6 per cent

2. Edinburgh, £261,688, £27,675, 11.8 per cent

3. Aberdeen, £245,411, £21,689, 9.7 per cent

4. Newcastle, £189,125, £15,268, 8.9 per cent

5. Reading, £356,446, £27,525, 8.4 per cent

6. Dundee, £160,963, £11,855, 8 per cent

7. Bristol, £264,389, £18,601, 7.6 per cent

8. Southampton, £249,832, £16,900, 7.3 per cent

9. Northampton, £212,300, £14,085, 7.1 per cent

10. Milton Keynes, £251,288, £15,977, 6.8 per cent

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