House prices back to more than their 2007 peak

Screenshot 2015-06-29 16.21.23National group Connells says that house prices are now exceeding their last peak in 2007, before the housing crash.

Separate data appears to show that fewer people are buying with mortgages.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, there were 49,000 house purchase loans made in May – a drop of 15.8% on May last year although up 1.4% on April.

Of that number 22,700 loans were to first-time buyers, a fall of 16% on May 2014.

There were 17,500 buy-to-let loans, up 1% on April and up 12% on May last year.

Separately, the ONS has reported that “average mix-adjusted” house prices in May 2015 stood at £286,000 in England, £170,000 in Wales, £152,000 in Northern Ireland and £193,000 in Scotland.

The highest average house price was in London at £503,000 while the north-east had the lowest average house price at £154,000.

London, the south-east and the east all had prices higher than the UK average price of £274,000 – a rise of 5.7% on May 2014.

Despite London’s high prices, its annual rate of house price inflation at 5.5% was slightly less than the national average.

Excluding London and the south-east, the average UK house price was £210,000.

While the ONS prices are a long way ahead of those reported by that other official index, the Land Registry, the confusing disparity is coming to an end.

A new single official house price index is likely to be launched in the first half of next year, the ONS announced yesterday.

It will be published via the Land Registry pages of GOV.UK

Meanwhile, Connells yesterday reported that average house prices have exceeded their autumn 2007 peak by 2%.

Internal data from the Connells Group – which has a network of over 520 estate agency branches throughout the UK – shows that the value of property rose for the fourth consecutive month.

The firm said its own data also indicates a 4.5% increase on house values in Q2 compared with the previous quarter. This exceeds the 3% inflation that was earlier forecast by Connells.