by Mark Johnston
April House Prices.
It seems that several housing market studies have reported improvements in the housing market in recent months following the launch of the governments funding for lending scheme.
House price have mounted a partial recovery since the 2007 and 2008 property crash, but it appears that the South East and London have drove many of the improvements.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) indicated that the number of first time buyers in the first 2 months of this year was at its highest level in 5 years.
Official figures recently revealed that European house prices fell in the fourth quarter of 2012, however it appears that Britain bucked this trend as property values rose. Britain went against the trend showing a 2.3 per cent jump in property prices.
According to Rightmove, the leading property website, house sellers have raised their average asking prices by 2.1 per cent, thus setting a new record for this time of the year. Prices have risen by around £15,717 since the start of the year and are therefore just £1,500 behind June 2012’s record high.
Analysis of house prices show that the biggest jump in house prices was in East Anglia, where the typical asking figure jumped 4.4 per cent.
Even more recent figures have revealed that house prices have hit an April high, fuelling expectations of a property market revival.
It also seems that the gap between home owners asking prices and actual selling prices has also narrowed, this may be due in part to the fact that many buyers find it easier to obtain loans.
Peter Spencer, chief economic adviser to the Ernst and Young Item Club, said “ real incomes are already starting to recover, mortgages are becoming more readily available and homes are more affordable as the house price to earnings ratio continue to fall”.
Current data from mortgage lender Halifax put the latest price to wages ratio for the UK at 4.51, which is down from a peak of 5.83 recorded in the summer of 2007.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, suggests “with London prices pausing for breath this month but likely to bounce back, May looks like an odds on bet to deliver a new asking price record”.
According to current data more than a million people are expected to move house this year.
Therefore the influential Ernst and Young Item Club forecast that Britain’s property market is a “win win” scenario in 2013.
Many estate agents have also reported more activity in more segments of the property market. Although figures have shown that the run of houses coming on to the market in April was 4 per cent down on just a year ago.
However some analysts have warned that many of these figures appear too optimistic.
Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics, adds “the underlying reality is that outside of London, the UK market is still extremely flat and large parts of the market are seeing steady downward drifts”.
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