The House Price Index October 2003 from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has put the average house price in the UK at £161,365 with prices up 12.1% on the year before.
The figures also show the average price for first time buyers was £126,803. The index is to undergo a quality audit with a view to it becoming a national statistic next year.
Figures from the Halifax and Nationwide showed average prices in the UK up 14.1% and 15.2% respectively for the month of November.
Alex Bannister, group economist at Nationwide, said: “The housing market looks set to finish 2003 on a strong note and carry over much of the momentum into the early part of next year. Given the likelihood of a positive start to the year we expect prices to rise by 9% in 2004. Price growth in the second half of 2004 should slow as the one-off effects [favourable economic and labour market conditions] unwind and consumers adjust to higher interest rates and taxes, worsening affordability and a downward revision to their expectations for house price growth.”
Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, added: “House prices rose by 1% during November and are now 14.1% higher than a year ago. The gradual easing in house price growth reflects a market returning to average house price rises after two years of exceptional increases.”