Housing boom continues with 2.2 per cent rise

04 February 2004
UK house prices have risen by 2.2 per cent during January as a shortage of homes pushes prices up.

The survey by the UK's biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, shows that the housing market is still booming, following a two per cent jump in house prices in December.

The average price paid for a first home broke through the £100,000 barrier for the first time in January, after the price paid by people taking their first step on the property ladder soared by 22.6 per cent during the past 12 months. First-time buyers have seen the average price of a home rise from £82,968 to £101,747 over the past year.

House prices have risen by 16 per cent over the past year, according to Halifax. Many experts expect the Bank of England to raise interest rates this week in a bid to cool the market.

Halifax noted that strong house prices are leaving many young workers, such as nurses, teachers and police officers, unable to get a foot on the property ladder in half of the UK's major towns.

The average house price is now six times the average salary for nurses and firefighters.