UK house prices rose by 8.4% in 2013, according to the latest figures from Nationwide Building Society. The increase means that the average home value in December 2013 was £175,826.
House prices remain below 2007 high
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “The UK housing market followed the trajectory of the wider economy through 2013, gaining momentum as the year progressed. The average monthly increase in house prices rose from 0.4% in the first half of the year to 1% in the second half of 2013.” Despite this increase, however, the average UK property price is still hovering around 5% below the record highs of late 2007.
London house prices drive upward trend
Although house prices rose across all regions, the change was driven by an annual house price growth in London of 14.9%. As Gardener commented: “Though London and the South East continued to record the strongest pace of growth…the upturn also became increasingly broad based over the course of 2013. For the second successive quarter, all thirteen UK regions saw positive annual house price growth in the last quarter of 2013.”
A brighter outlook for potential buyers
Gardener believes that a variety of factors have combined to drive house prices upwards over the past year. “A large part of the pickup in the housing market can be attributed to further improvements in the labour market and the brighter economic outlook, which helped to bolster sentiment amongst potential buyers,” he said, adding that “policy measures also played an important supporting role by helping to keep mortgage rates close to all-time lows and improving the availability of credit, especially for those with smaller deposits.”
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