Last week there were reports that, nationally, prices of houses and flats have picked up strongly, according to figures released by the UK’s second largest mortgage lender. The Nationwide building society said house prices are now rising at 6.5% a year and the average sales price is now at its highest level since April 2008.
Separate figures from the Bank of England show mortgage approvals rose to the highest level since February 2008. Despite recent price increases, the Nationwide noted that prices were still below the peak of the market, seen six years ago. “Prices are still around 6% below the all-time high recorded in late 2007,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.
The Bank of England said there were 67,701 mortgage approvals in October, up from 66,891 in September. Although that is the highest figure for over five years, it is well below pre-crisis levels, when there were typically more than 90,000 mortgages arranged every month.
The Land Registry said last week that prices in England and Wales were rising by 3.4% year on year. Land Registry figures are based on actual sales, instead of mortgage approvals, which are used by Nationwide. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said its latest estimate for house price inflation was 3.8%.
“House prices… look set to see further strong increases over the coming months despite the Bank of England ending Funding for Lending support for mortgage lending,” said Howard Archer, the chief UK economist with IHS Global Insight. He is sticking to his forecast that house prices will increase by 8% next year.
What about Macclesfield?
As previously reported, the South East of England tends to distort the national statistics both for sales and rental prices, so we wanted to examine how prices have been changing locally. We found that, in Macclesfield sales prices have risen by 5.44% in the last year (according to Zoopla). Whilst this certainly shows signs of recovery, prices are still just 3.68 % higher than they were in 2008.
Mouseprice, however report a very different picture with Macclesfield sold prices still 12.61% lower than they were 5 years ago.
With confidence returning to the market, it looks like 2014 is likely to see a further upward trend in Macclesfield.