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ONS: Scotland leads house price surge

  • 20/05/2015
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ONS: Scotland leads house price surge
UK house prices increased by 9.6% in the year to March 2015, up from 7.4% in the year to February 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Scotland saw the quickest rate of growth at 14.6% – the highest annual increase in Scotland since July 2007. Prices went up 9.4% in England, 5.7% in Wales, and 7.5% in Northern Ireland.

In England, annual house price increases were driven by rises in the East (11.4%), London (11.2%) and the South East (11.2%).

Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 8.1% in the 12 months to March 2015.

First-time buyers paid 7.8% more for their home in March 2015 compared to March 2014. For existing owners, prices increased by 10.3% for the same period.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said the higher rate of house price growth brought concerns about affordability.

“First-time buyers have seen below average price increases over the last year, but even this will be scant consolation when today’s CML figures showing that lending to first-time buyers was down in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year.

“The new government has absolutely no time to waste in introducing its new proposals to help first time buyers – but the reality is it will take much more than Help to Buy ISAs and a limited number of starter homes to address the challenges faced by aspiring buyers on modest incomes.”

Stephen Smith (pictured), director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, agreed with Murphy’s comments regarding affordability.

“Ideally, house prices would grow at or around the same level as inflation so that prices don’t rise faster than people can save a deposit,” he said.

“The key to achieving this lies in building more houses so that supply can keep up with demand. The ne

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