The latest figures from the UK’s largest building society shows house prices continue to rise sharply.
According to the Nationwide, house prices rose by 0.4% in March and are now 9.5% higher than this time last year.
The average property is now worth £180,264, up from £177,846 in February.
Experts believe the sharp rise in house prices over the past 12 months is due to on-going low interest rates, improved access to mortgage finance for borrowers and the improving economy, coupled with higher employment rates.
Reacting to the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said: “There is little doubt that the recovery in the housing market is now firmly established, with activity levels picking up and house prices recording their fifteenth successive monthly increase in March.”
He continued though with a word of warning: “There are some tentative signs of moderation, with the monthly pace of price growth slowing to 0.4% in March down from 0.7% in February and 0.8% in January. Nevertheless, viewed in annual terms, price growth is continuing to run at a robust pace, with the price of a typical home 9.5% higher than in March 2013.” (Source: Nationwide)
UK wide recovery
Although the recent rise in house prices has been led by London and the South East, there is evidence that prices are now rising throughout the country.
For the third quarter in a row, every region of the UK saw house price rises, although with 18% growth over the past year alone, house prices in the capital continue to outstrip the rest of the county.
However, house prices in most regions are still below their 2007 peak, with only London and the South East showing gains.
Indeed house prices in Northern Ireland are a staggering 49% below the levels seen in 2007.