House prices jump 1% in April

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert April 29, 2010 09:44


The average cost of a home rose 1 percent from March to 167,802 pounds, the mortgage lender said in an e-mailed statement. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 15 economists was for a 0.4 percent increase. Prices are up 10.5 percent from a year earlier, and remain 10 percent below the peak of October 2007, Nationwide said.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is trailing in voter opinion polls before the May 6 election, said last week that house prices will “stabilize” because of the property shortage. The Bank of England has held the key interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent since March 2009, helping homeowners weather the recession and wait for price gains before selling.

“The low level of stock for sale, as many homeowners and buy-to-let landlords continue to wait for prices to recover” is driving up prices, Martin Gahbauer, chief economist at Nationwide, said in the statement. “The very low level of interest rates has been particularly supportive of this wait- and-see approach.”

Brown said on April 21 that “in some cases, we haven’t built enough houses for the demand that is there and so I would expect property prices to stabilize.” To aid first-time buyers, the government last month scrapped a tax on house purchases for those spending less than 250,000 pounds.

A ComRes Ltd. poll on April 27 put voter support for the Conservatives at 32 percent. the ruling Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats tied at 29 percent.

The report adds to evidence that the property market recovery is keeping up momentum. U.K. mortgage approvals rose 4.6 percent in March from the previous month to 34,905, the British Bankers’ Association said April 27. Lending is up 20 percent from a year earlier.

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert April 29, 2010 09:44

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