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News - 28 February 2014

House prices rising at highest rate for 4 years

New figures published by the Nationwide Building Society show that house prices rose by 0.6% in February, which is an increase of 9.4% on February last year, giving the annual rate of growth to be the highest in almost four years.

This puts the average UK home at £177,846, which is still almost 5% below the 2007 peak.

Robert Gardner, chief economist of the Nationwide said:
"Price growth is being supported by the fact that the supply of housing remains constrained, with housing completions still well below their pre-crisis levels."

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“It would appear that record low interest rates and growing consumer confidence were driving demand, with housing supply unable to keep up. 109,500 new homes were built in England in 2013, which was 38% below the level recorded in 2007, and about half the projected number of new households expected to form each year.”

However, not all figures agree with the Nationwide. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that prices were only 5.5% higher than a year ago - but that they had already reached a record national average of £250,000.

Some housebulders have also reported a revival, Barratt Developments recorded a 162% rise in pre-tax profits to £120m for the six months to the end of December, while a comparable figure from Redrow revealed a 107% growth in profits to £48m.

Tonmoy Kumar continues:
“The governments Help to Buy Scheme shows that its "equity loan" element, launched in April last year, has so far financed only 15,000 completed house purchases in England. However, there are more in the pipeline.”

If you need any help and advice for your business on the implications of central and local Government Funding initiatives and the construction industry, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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