House prices continued to soar in January, with their annual rate of inflation leaping to almost 7%, according to official figures published on Tuesday. The average cost of a UK home rose to £254,000, the Office for National Statistics said.
Growing demand from buyers – fuelled by government schemes to help borrowers and increasing confidence in the economy – and a continued shortage of properties for sale are driving rises in all parts of the UK. The average house price in January was 6.8% higher than a year earlier, up from a 5.5% increase in December.
But the average masks wide regional discrepancies.
Growth is still being driven by London and the south-east, which saw annual growth of 13.2% and 7.1% respectively, pushing prices to above their 2008 peaks. In the capital, the average price rose to £458,000 – three times the £147,000 recorded in the north-east of England. If sales in London and the south-east were excluded from the overall picture, the rate of house price inflation across the UK would drop to 3.8%.
In England and Wales, prices rose by 7.1% and 6.9% year on year respectively, while in Scotland values were up just 1.4%.
via The Guardian
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