UK house prices rose by 10% over the last year, with a near-19% increase in London, according to official figures that intensified the debate about whether policymakers need to cool the market.
The Office for National Statistics said house price inflation in April – at 2% in a single month – was the highest for almost four years. Average UK house prices jumped 9.9% over the year to April with increases in all regions. Across England prices were up 10.4% while property values in the capital rose at their fastest pace for almost seven years, up by 18.7%.
The data came as the Bank of England’s financial policy committee (FPC) convened to discuss the biggest risks facing the UK financial system. House prices were expected to be top of the agenda, with committee members considering new powers handed to them last week by the chancellor, George Osborne, to curb house price rises. The committee will unveil any decisions in its financial stability report on 26 June.
City economists polled by Reuters say the most likely action to cool house prices from the FPC will be a cap on mortgages compared to a borrower’s income.
But some commentators say it may hold off as there are signs the market is already cooling.
via The Guardian
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