House prices show no sign of slowdown

31 May 2004
House process in the UK are continuing to rise, according to the May survey from Hometrack.

Its research saw an increase of 0.6 per cent in average house prices, bringing the total increase this year to 3.2 per cent.

Transactions are also continuing to increase with house sales up 2.7 per cent, buyers up 2 per cent and discounts on asking prices diminishing.

Hometrack's housing economist, John Wriglesworth, commented: "House price rises continue unabated and there are no signs of a slowdown."

He added: "With little prospect of interest rates rising significantly this year, and with lenders continuing to aggressively push special mortgage offers, house buyers are still finding the means to afford more and more expensive properties."

Mr Wriglesworth concluded by saying: "While we predict house prices to rise by 8 per cent this year we are now expecting house price inflation to slow down to 4 per cent in 2005. While the current housing boom will come to an end, we see no prospects of a housing market crash.

"The only economic factors that could precipitate a housing market crash are a doubling of interest rates, stamp duty or unemployment. None of these are expected by any UK economists either this year or next."

Regionally, Cumbria is leading the pack, with average prices rising by 1.5 per cent in May. Other high risers are Lancashire (1.3 per cent) and South Lincolnshire (1.3 per cent). No counties experienced house price falls this month.

London's price rise of 0.7 per cent lifted the capital's average house price to above £250,000 for the first time.