First-time Buyers

Property prices rise 9.9%

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House prices across the UK have risen by an average of 9.9% in the year to April, figures from the Office for National Statistics has shown.

Property prices grew in all four nations of the UK with annual growth of 10.4% in England, 4.8% in Scotland, 3.3% in Wales and 2.6% in Northern Ireland.

On a regional basis London continued to steam ahead of the rest of the country with property values growing 18.7% in the year. The next largest increases were in the South East (8.9%) and the East of England (8.5%).

While the Help to Buy scheme has given support to borrowers with smaller deposits the confidence generated by the government scheme appears to have pushed prices for first-time buyers skyward.

The ONS reported the typical first-time buyer property was now worth 10.7% more on average than in April 2013. As usual, the figures highlighted large differences in property prices with the average house in the North East costing £152,000 compared to £485,000 in London.

Overall, average house prices stood at £271,000 in England, £187,000 in Scotland, £166,000 in Wales and £132,000 in Northern Ireland.

Stephen Smith, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club and housing, said:

“Although house prices are rising overall, there are significant regional disparities as shown by these figures. House price inflation in the UK is being driven by London and the surrounding areas where demand for houses continues to rise.

“Although other areas are seeing house price growth, it is not accelerating at the same level as in the capital. Over the coming months it will be important that the market is encouraged to grow in a healthy manner.”