East of England: Fresh concerns raised over ‘huge’ rise in average property prices
PUBLISHED: 19:15 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:15 25 March 2014
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Fresh fears about “huge” house prices have been raised after official figures showed the average property value in the east of England has lifted to another new peak of £266,000.
Average house prices rose by £12,000 in a year, from £254,000 in January 2013 to £266,000 in January 2014 – the highest-ever average property value reported in the region and above the UK average of £254,000.
It was an annual increase of 4.7%, the Office for National Statistics research found, and marked the fastest January-to-January increase since a £17,000 upshot between 2010 and 2011.
Jan Hytch, the East Anglian-based president of the National Association of Estate Agents, described the news as a “big concern”.
“More than a quarter of a million pounds for the average price of a house is a huge amount in anyone’s parlance,” she added.
“It is a blow to young people trying to get on the property ladder.
“The market needs to be controlled and the Government needs to help efforts to build more affordable housing and provide more supply.”
Nationally, housing market activity has shown strong signs of lifting over the last year amid improving consumer confidence and a flood of low-deposit mortgages.
The Government’s signature Help to Buy scheme to help people with 5% deposits was launched last year. In last week’s Budget, chancellor George Osborne confirmed plans to extend the first phase of the initiative until the end of the decade, in a move expected to increase the supply of new-build homes.
However some experts have argued the scheme has ramped up the pressure on house prices, by injecting more demand from buyers in areas where there is already a shortage of homes.
But Matthew Pointon, a property economist at Capital Economics, said the country is “a long way off the lending conditions that preceded the mid-2000s housing market boom”.