House prices rise by £1,000 a month

Market outpaces buyers

dv687060.jpg dv687060 (Royalty-free) Collection: Digital Vision Caption: For Sale Signs and Sold Signs on Houses Photographer:

The average home went up in value by £12,000 last year, new figures reveal.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house prices rose by 5.7% over the last year, to reach an average of £277,000. That's £3,000 more than three months ago.

But there's huge variation around the UK. In Northern Ireland, for example, prices rose by 9% over the last year, while in Scotland they fell 0.6% to £192,000 - the first fall in two years.

London is no longer showing the rocketing growth it was - indeed, it's now a little below average, with a price rise of 5.3% over the last year. Just last summer, the figure was 20%.

"Following relatively strong growth during much of 2014, the rate of house price growth appears to have moderated in recent months," says the ONS.

"Despite this moderation, house price growth remains high relative to the movement of prices in general, likely reflecting a mismatch between strong demand and relatively weak supply throughout much of the UK."

House building in the UK rose by 4.6% over the last year, says the ONS, the lowest annual growth rate since March 2013.

And according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), the shortage of housing is set to get worse, with the average number of properties for sale per surveyor slipping to a record low. It's predicting 'sizeable' house price increases over the next twelve months, especially in East Anglia and Northern Ireland.

The figures will be bad news for those trying to get on the property ladder - or move up it. Recent research from accountancy firm PwC found that by 2025 there will be more private renters than people owning a home with a mortgage. More than half of those between 20 and 39 will live in private rented accommodation, it says.

"Today's figures show that house prices are growing at more than twice the rate of average earnings, further squeezing affordability for buyers," says PwC senior economist Richard Snook.

The people who affect house prices

The people who affect house prices

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