Safe as houses

January 19th 2015
By: Melanie Hollidge

During 2014 our housing market has recovered and is gathering momentum.  According to figures from Zoopla, the average property in the UK is now £268,895 which was an increase of £15,191 during the year.

Vast differences have been seen across the country, with prices in London still being the highest where values have increased by an average of £81,619.

Early 2014 saw the effects of the demand from would-be house hunters following launch of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme which enabled lots of people to purchase property, often for the first time.

Indications were that demand was beginning to cool during the middle of the year, following concerns over the when the Bank of England might increase the base rate – which would then increase mortgage costs.

Affordability was questioned after stricter mortgage lending rules were introduced in April – potential buyers had to ensure they could afford the home loans they had applied for by looking carefully at and providing details about their spending habits.

Following the stamp duty changes, activity in the housing market is increasing.  The majority of people who are liable to pay stamp duty, will pay less following the reform.

Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said: 'The property market has maintained its momentum during 2014, with price increases across most of the country despite initial concerns that the spate of regulatory policies designed to prevent risky lending would curb demand. 'More regions this year saw property prices increase compared with last year, indicating that the property market recovery continues and that the buoyancy will likely continue in 2015.'

Zoopla average property values in December 2014 are shown below, with the change over the last year in cash and percentage terms (according to Zoopla):

London £603,724 £81,619 15.6%
South East England £346,409 £29,675 9.4%