First-time Buyers

First-time buyers pay 11% more in November

Paula John
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Paula John

First-time buyers paid 11% more for their starter homes in the 12 months to November pushing the average price up to £208,000 across the UK, government statistics revealed.

The Office of National Statistics House Price Index for November showed the growth rate of first-time buyer home prices fell slightly compared to the 12 months to October when average starter homes increased by 12% year-on-year.

House prices for owner occupiers increased by 9.5% annually in November, which compared to a 9.7% growth rate in the 12 months to October. The average house price for owner occupiers now stands at £312,000.

Andy Knee, chief executive of property services firm LMS, said: “For the thousands of first-time buyers who have struggled to get on to the housing ladder, many will welcome the news of house price growth slowing yet prices remain out of reach for many and are still a huge hurdle to overcome with prices paid up 11% from November 2013.”

Knee said the slowdown in market activity may be reflective of uncertainty ahead of May’s general election a 15-year low rate of inflation and continued speculation about interest rates.

“2014 saw greater appetite from lenders and it would be hugely detrimental if this were to be damaged or curtailed as a result of slower growth,” he added.

Nationally, the value of homes increased by 10% to reach an average price of £271,000. Excluding London and the South East this growth rate falls to 7% year-on-year bring the national average house price down to £207,000.

By country, average house prices in November were £283,000 in England, £171,000 in Wales, £147,000 in Northern Ireland and £194,000 in Scotland.

London continued to be the English region with the highest average house price at £501,000 and the North East had the lowest average house price at £155,000. London, the South East and the East all had prices higher than the UK average price of £271,000.

Stephen Smith, director mortgage club and housing at Legal & General, said: “While house price growth in the UK has begun to slow in the past few months it is important not to lose sight of the long-term trends. Shortages of viable homes remain a problem across the country but particularly in areas such as London.

“With that in mind, it is important for the government to strengthen its support for the recent building initiatives we have seen to alleviate the pressure.”