Big regional divide as house prices start to rise

House prices have recorded their fastest growth in almost three years

House prices have recorded their fastest growth in almost three years

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House prices have recorded their fastest growth in almost three years in a further sign that the market is gathering pace, Nationwide has reported.

However, the recovery is largely led by London and the South East. Prices in London now standing at a new all-time high at £318,214 on average, five per cent above their 2007 peak.

By contrast, prices across the UK are still around nine per cent below their pre-crisis peak. Prices in England are currently five per cent lower than those seen in 2007, while they are 13 per cent down in Wales, 12 per cent lower in Scotland and have plummeted by 53 per cent in Northern Ireland compared with 2007.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire and Humberside have all seen prices fall.

The annual increase of 1.9 per cent in June pushed average UK prices to £168,941, marking the strongest year-on-year uplift since September 2010. On a month-on-month basis, house prices rose by 0.3 per cent in June, compared with a 0.4 per cent rise the previous month.

The building society said that Government efforts to kick-start the market, such as Funding for Lending, which gives lenders access to cheap finance, as well as the shortage of housing are pushing up house prices.

Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, said London “has seen the greatest recovery in prices of any region”.

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