House prices have risen by eight per cent in the space of a year according to official figures as the Prime Minister said he would consider making changes to the Government’s flagship Help to Buy mortgage scheme.
The typical price of a property across the UK stood at £252,000 in March, which is just £1,000 below a record peak recorded in February by the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) house price index.
In London, values have leapt more than twice as fast as the national average, with a 17 per cent annual lift in the capital pushing average prices there to £459,000.
The ONS report said that while London and areas of the South continue to drive house price growth, most parts of the UK are experiencing a “strong” increase in property values.
The figures were published as David Cameron said that he would consider making alterations to Help to Buy, if the Bank of England suggests they are needed.
Bank Governor Mark Carney recently signalled he is ready to take action to cool the housing market amid growing concerns over the threat that a new property price bubble could pose to the economic recovery.
Mr Carney said the Bank could adopt a range of measures – including imposing a new “affordability test” for borrowers and advising the Government to rein in Help to Buy.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if he would consider bringing down the £600,000 Help to Buy threshold, Mr Cameron said: “Of course, we will consider any changes that are proposed by Mark Carney.
“But, as he said, this is a well-targeted scheme and it’s helped tens of thousands of people get on the housing ladder and to have mortgages.”