House prices pick up sharply across the UK

The number of homes coming onto the market fell during November of this year pushing up house prices even further according to a recent survey. The survey, conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, has shown that house price growth hit a 14 year high during November and is expected to continue growing due to the lack of supply. The survey indicates that 59% more chartered surveyors have forecast that house prices will continue to rise rather than decrease in the next few months. This figure is the highest seen since September 1999.

House prices rose sharply last month according to 58% of those surveyed. Every region of the UK saw price rises for the second consecutive month. For example Yorkshire saw house prices rise by 7.7 percent. Some regions are still struggling more than others but most regional markets are responding positively to the latest government schemes and consumer confidence is on the rise. The lack of housing supply appears to be the biggest challenge faced by the UK housing market but the number of transactions is still on the rise. The average number of homes sold by each chartered surveyor included in the survey hit 20.6. This was during the three months leading to November. During the same period in 2012 the average number of homes sold per chartered surveyor was 15.9.

House prices

According to the survey, 76% of surveyors predict that sales levels will rise significantly heading into 2014. The Bank of England’s withdrawal of Funding for Lending could slow the market slightly as many may struggle to afford to get on the housing ladder. However, this is countered by the number of reduced price mortgages already widely available therefore the withdrawal of this scheme may have less impact than originally thought. According to the survey, 52% more chartered surveyors in Scotland predict house prices to continue rising over the next three months. Some 42% of surveyors reported price growth in Scotland. Director of RICS Scotland Sarah Speirs has stated that the lack of housing supply is one that will be addressed in the coming year.

Prices were also up in Northern Ireland according to the survey. A net balance of 23% of surveyors reported price rises in the three months to November and this was the sixth consecutive month of price growth seen. However, average prices are still 50% below peak levels. Variations can also be seen across Northern Ireland.

New homes director at the Mortgage Advice Bureau Andy Frankish states that, due to rising confidence, the movement in the housing market is positive and government schemes such as Help to Buy are helping increase demand. Consumer interest is on the increase therefore many home sellers are responding to demand by raising their asking price. However, supply must meet demand should the market keep improving over the coming year. Confidence among the construction industry is on the rise therefore, with the government’s help, steps can be made to increase the supply of housing and create a wider variety of housing in the UK.

Such activity on the housing market is likely to contribute to an increase in activity at estate agents in Huddersfield as well as other desirable places across the UK.

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