While property prices in London continue to be the highest in the UK, they’re also pushing more and more people out of the city into more affordable areas, making the ripple effect more pronounced than ever. If you’re looking to buy in or around London, now’s the time to get into the market before prices shoot up further. The data collected by the Office for National Statistics is collected from mortgage lenders across the country.
The area which has shown the strongest growth is the south-east, with an 11.4% increase on last year. The English average inflation figure for house prices was 8.2%. Most buyers surveyed by the Office for National Statistics cite their reason for relocation as wanting better value than they’d get from housing in London. This ripple effect has pushed prices up across the region though, with average property prices creeping closer to £400,000, way above the national average of £284,000.
In fact, it was good news for sellers all over the UK, with prices increasing across the board, with the exception of prices in Scotland, which fell 0.8%. London prices increased 9.7%, and the east of England’s values hit double figures, with an increase of just over 10%. Wales and Northern Ireland both saw increases of just under 3% in their house prices.
Connell’s estate agency reported that they’d carried out 21% more valuations in March than they had in February, and 41% of their March valuations were for first time buyers, which is encouraging as it shows that the property market isn’t scaring off those about to take their first steps into the housing market. Other agents said that March had seen an increase in business simply because buy-to-let investors were rushing to get their purchases finalised before the 3% stamp duty penalty came into force in April.
When it comes to house prices in the 12 months prior to February 2016, it was more encouraging news for house buyers, with inflation slowing to 7.6%, down 0.3% from January. Based on these figures, industry economists are predicting another house price increase of about 6% during 2016. It looks like now is definitely a great time to buy outside of London!