The latest index figures have revealed that house prices in both Wales and England have seen a boost over the first few weeks of 2016. The increase represents a rise of 0.5% month-on-month in the residential market, with the year-on-year numbers up to 6.5%. These increases mean the recent Christmas period has seen the highest price rises during similar times of the year for over eight years.
The average cost of buying a home now sits at £290,963.
Good News for First Time Buyers
These recent figures were collected by Rightmove, who also have some good news for first time buyers. Rightmove say that the lower end of the market has seen the smallest increases, with two bedroom houses only seeing a maximum rise of 0.1%. This is particularly good news for first time buyers as these two-bed homes are exactly the kind of properties they will most likely be looking for in order to get onto the property ladder.
Rightmove’s Director and Housing Market Analyst, Miles Shipside, said, ‘Upwards price pressure remains with the second highest rise seen at this time of year for nine years. But encouragingly for first time buyers, there’s more fresh choice with more property coming to market in their target sector.’
Rightmove also believe that changes to the landlord tax laws could be having a knock-on effect to the housing market in general. Shipside added, ‘With their asking prices pretty much the same as a month ago, perhaps the knock-on effects of the more punitive landlord tax regime have arrived early and they now face a dilemma over whether to buy now or wait to see if prices drop in this sector over the next few months.’
House Price Variations Across the UK
Another interesting facet of this recent data is the variation of price rises throughout the whole country. Prices have also fallen in some areas while actually increasing year-on-year. The East Midlands, for example, has seen a decrease of 1.8% but are actually up by 2.8% year-on-year. Similarly, Yorkshire and Humber saw a decrease of 0.2% but are actually up by 2.8% year-on-year. In Greater London, the different is quite dramatic, with a decrease of 0.9% but a year-on-year increase of 7.8%, leaving the average Greater London house costing £610,741.
All of these house price trend figures from Rightmove are good news in general for the UK housing market, with growth across the board but less so in the lower end where first time buyers should find themselves still able to afford to get their foot on the ladder.