This morning the Office for National Statistics, (ONS) reported that UK house prices rose by 6.7% in the year to November 2016, which is up from 6.4% in October. The average cost of a UK home now stands at £217,928.
Regionally, London continues to lead the way with an average house price of £482,000, but was the 3rd highest growth rate at 8.1%. East of England grew the most by 10.5% with the South East following at 8.6%.
At the same time they reported that the UK inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), increased from 1.2% in November to 1.6% in December. This was a bigger jump than many expected, led chiefly by food and air fair increases.
The unrelenting march of house prices will disappoint many First Time Buyers who have been hoping that prices would correct enough to help them get on the property ladder and take advantage of some extraordinarily low mortgage rates. Whilst prices at the top end in London have eased off, the average first time buyer property is still in high demand and short supply, leading to intense competition and increasing house prices.
With rents also rising as well as the general cost of living, together with minuscule interest rates for saving, it is tougher for buyers to save for a deposit without some kind of family assistance.
There is some good news, however, as lenders are continuing to support high loan-to-value mortgage products at rates which are as competitive as they have ever been.