UK house prices up by 0.6% in February – Nationwide
This is fourteenth successive monthly increase and takes the average house price to £177,846, up from £176,491 the previous month. However, prices are still around 3% below their 2007 peak.
Nationwide said demand continues to be supported by record low interest rates, improved credit availability and rising consumer confidence thanks to the healthy gains in employment recorded in recent quarters.
“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, which was already insufficient to keep up with the pace of household formation,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.
He said in England around 109,500 new homes were built in 2013, which is 38% below the level recorded in 2007 and around half the projected number of households that are expected to form each year in the years ahead.
The data also suggests that the share of cash buyers increased significantly from around 20% in 2005/06 to around 35% in the wake of the financial crisis, although the proportion has remained fairly constant since 2008.
The Nationwide figures come a week after the Office for National Statistics reported the number of homes being built in Britain has risen to its highest level in six years.