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UK house price growth up 9.1%

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15/04/2014
UK house prices leapt by 9.1% in the year to February 2014, up from 6.8% in the year to January 2014.

House price inflation grew by 9.7% in England, 5.3% in Wales, 2.4% in Scotland and 2.8% in Northern Ireland.

Annual house price increases in England were largely driven by rises in London of 17.7%, the South East by 8% and the East of England which saw growth of 7.7%.

Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.8% in the 12 months to February 2014.

Stephen Smith, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club and housing, said: “Policy makers cannot make decisions that will impact the whole country based simply on what is happening in London.

“The government needs to maintain a balancing act between stimulating growth in some areas and ensuring that London and the South East don’t become unaffordable to families.”

In February, prices paid by first-time buyers were 10.5% higher on average than in February 2013.

For existing owners, prices increased by 8.6% for the same period.

Nicholas Ayre, managing director of homebuying agency Home Fusion, said affordability was the main issue.

“Sellers are in the fortunate position of being able to ask what they like,” he said.

“The market has a 2007 feeling – if you don’t buy now and pay that extortionate price, there is a long queue of people behind you ready to jump in.

“With property prices up 10.5% for first-time buyers compared with a year ago, many people are in danger of being priced out again.”

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