The UK’s largest building society has reported a strong rise in house prices in November.
In the same week the Land Registry said house prices fell in October, the Nationwide has revealed a 0.6% increase in November, taking the average house price to £174,566.
Furthermore the Nationwide also revealed that house prices have risen by 6.5% over the past year.
All the major surveys agree that house prices have increased over the past 12 months on the back of a buoyant mortgage market, although the Nationwide figures show average values are still 6% off their 2007 peak.
The figures show that all regions of the UK saw prices rise on the third quarter of 2013. Unsurprisingly, London led the way with house price growth of 10% over the past 12 months,, whilst the North showed the weakest growth.
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said: “UK house prices rose by 0.6% in November taking the annual rate of increase to 6.5%, the strongest pace since July 2010, though prices are still around 6% below the all-time high recorded in late 2007.”
Gardener continued: “Activity in the housing market has picked up strongly in recent months. The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase reached 66,735 in September, 34% higher than the same period of 2012. A large part of the improvement can be attributed to further improvements in the labour market and the brighter economic outlook, which has helped to bolster sentiment amongst potential buyers.
“Policy measures aimed at keeping down the cost and improving the availability of credit are also playing an important role. Indeed, mortgage rates have declined significantly from the already low levels prevailing last year. For example, Bank of England data indicates that the interest rate on two year fixed rate mortgages for those with a 10% deposit has fallen from 5.6% to 4.4% over the past twelve months. For a buyer purchasing the typical UK home over 25 years, this equates to a reduction in monthly payments of around £110 (£1,320 per year) at the current average house price.” (Source: Nationwide)
With two of the three major house prices surveys seemingly at odds over the rate of house price growth the figures due out shortly from the Halifax will make interesting reading.