Region’s house prices increase as market continues its revival

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House prices surged by 7.4 per cent in Yorkshire over the last 12 months to reach an average of £140,684, latest figures from Nationwide revealed.

The region was slightly behind the UK average increase of 8.4 per cent, with the market revival becoming increasingly broad-based, according to Nationwide.

Prices increased by 1.4 per cent month-on-month in December to reach £175,826 on average, although they remain around five per cent below all-time highs recorded in late 2007, the building society said.

The annual increase in prices across the country is the biggest jump seen since June 2010.

Every region across the UK saw prices increase year-on-year, ranging from a 14.9 per cent annual increase in London to a 1.9 per cent uplift in the North.

Year-on-year quarter four comparisons show that the region’s largest annual growth is in West Yorkshire where house prices surged by seven per cent to an average of £152,459. South Yorkshire saw the smallest price growth, up three per cent to £140,556.

North Yorkshire continues to be the priciest, with average prices of £191,928 but despite the hulk in values, the North remains the most affordable region according to the house price to earnings ratio. The area’s most affordable sub-region is North Lincolnshire, where the average price of a property was £130,314 despite six per cent annual growth.

House prices in Yorkshire’s biggest cities have continued to rise. York is the most expensive big city to buy a house with prices at £220,205, recording four per cent quarter four growth for the second successive year.

Leeds house prices have reached an average of £185,049 while Bradford’s grew by seven per cent to £157,006 following a one per cent drop in the fourth quarter a year earlier.

Average prices had been static in Sheffield but it recorded a five per cent increase in the last quarter.

In England as a whole prices have increased by 8.6 per cent year-on-year to £205,084 typically. Manchester is named the best-performing area for house price rises in 2013, with prices up by 21 per cent typically over the last year to £209,627 and Carlisle was the worst performer, with a one per cent annual increase to £136,128.

Scotland recorded a 3.7 per cent annual increase in house prices, pushing them to £136,729 typically, while Wales saw prices pick up by 6.1 per cent over the same period, taking the average price there to £139,722.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said the upturn in prices has become “increasingly broad-based over the course of 2013”.

He said: “For the second successive quarter, all 13 UK regions saw positive annual house price growth in quarter four.

“Part of the reason for the acceleration in house price growth is that the supply side of the market has not kept pace with the upturn in demand, even though buyer numbers remain subdued by historic standards.

“For example, in quarter three 2013 the number of housing transactions in England was around 25 per cent below pre-crisis levels, while the number of new homes built was around 45 per cent lower.”

Mr Gardner said that current ultra-low interest rates are currently helping to keep home loans relatively affordable, with the typical mortgage payment for a first-time buyer equating to about 29 per cent of their take-home pay.

He added: “However, the risk is that if demand continues to run ahead of supply in the quarters ahead, affordability may become stretched.

“House price growth has been outstripping average earnings growth since the start of the year.”

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts that 150,000 new homes will be built across the UK during 2014 – a 20 per cent rise on 2013 levels – although this will be insufficient to meet national demand, it says.

Also, the trend looks set to continue for the months ahead, as RICS members predict house prices will rise nationally by another eight per cent and in Yorkshire by seven per cent during this year.

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