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Insight & Opinion

Property prices see February rise

Author: Gemma

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The housing market showed increased signs of recovery in February as a new report reveals house prices saw a 5.3 per cent increase.

This is according to the latest February market trend data from Land Registry and is in comparison to the same month in 2013.

The report revealed that the average house price in England and Wales now stands at £170,000, approaching the £181,658 peak average seen in November 2007 – before the economic crisis hit.

It also revealed there was a 0.7 per cent increase in property prices from January to February this year.

London was by far the region with the biggest annual change in values, with a rise of 13.8 per cent from February 2013 to 2014. Furthermore, the capital also witnessed a 0.7 per cent monthly growth.

The south-east was second on the list with a 7.1 per cent rise in yearly house prices, while the east followed marginally behind with a 6.2 per cent increase. The areas had respective monthly price jumps of 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent.

These areas present an excellent opportunity for those looking to purchase residential property, as the current trend of rising house prices is sure to add to the value of your initial investment.

Furthermore, if you are investing in bricks and mortar as a buy-to-let opportunity, you will also accrue a monthly income. This will be much higher in London and the south-east, but the regional rental market is also improving when it comes to annual income.

Demand is also high in the regions while property stock remains low, meaning your property is more likely to be occupied.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, has noted that property recovery is starting to pick up pace and this is being seen in all corners of England and Wales.

He said there are “strong flickers of life” from house builders suggesting more activity will soon commence. If this happens the property market will reveal its true potential, he added.

Chief executive officer at estate agents Marsh & Parsons Peter Rollings also suggested the latest figures are indicative of a housing market recovery. However, he did remark that the average annual property value growth of 5.3 per cent is not being seen everywhere in England and Wales.

“Overall, average house prices across England and Wales are still six per cent lower than the November 2007 peak, which should help to quieten the noisy minority scaremongering about a housing market bubble,” he said.

He also observed that demand in London for property is much higher than the rest of the country, making a “unique environment” for home purchases and rentals.

Investors who have enough capital to invest in a London property could therefore benefit hugely from both rising house values and high rental rates.

“London has had a four-year head start on the path to the recovery, and the reality is that other parts of the country are only just catching up. Offering gold standard property investment, prime London attracts a steady stream of buyers from both the UK and abroad,” he continued.

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