The Office for National Statistics, (ONS) released their House Price data today and showed that prices have continued their inexorable rise upwards.

Prices rose by 6.7% in the year to December 2015, which, although showing a slight slowdown from the previous month, was still a high figure. This was all led mainly by gains in London and the South East as per usual.

The Main Findings :-

  • UK house prices increased by 6.7% in the year to December 2015, down from 7.7% in the year to November 2015.
  • House price annual inflation was 7.3% in England, 1.0% in Wales, -0.2% in Scotland and 1.5% in Northern Ireland.
  • Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in the East (9.7%), London (9.4%) and the South East (8.8%).
  • Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.1% in the 12 months to December 2015.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices decreased by 0.2% between November 2015 and December 2015.
  • In December 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 6.4% higher on average than in December 2014.
  • For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 6.9% for the same period.

Although the pace of change has dropped off a touch from the previous month, many buyers will continue to be frustrated as they watch house prices disappear further out of their grasp, especially as there is no sign of wage growth to keep up.

Whilst Government schemes such as Help To Buy will undoubtedly continue to give builders confidence to build and will help a fair few new buyers, demand side policies such as this continue to fan the flames under the housing market.

More needs to be done to meet the requirement for the right type of affordable housing to be built before the dream of owning a home eludes even more people.

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