House prices rise 5.7% in past year

UK house prices grew 5.7 per cent to £277,000 in the year to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

On a monthly basis, prices were up 0.4 per cent from May.

Northern Ireland experienced the largest growth over the past 12 months, at 9 per cent; followed by England, at 6.1 per cent; and Wales, at 0.8 per cent. Scotland was the only country in the UK to see prices drop over the 12 months to June, by -0.6 per cent.

Napier Watt director Jonathan Adams says the headline figures mask regional differences in the UK housing market.

He adds: “In the mainstream market, rising property prices are causing problems for those who aren’t wealthy, and many people are struggling to buy, despite cheap mortgage rates. Stamp duty is putting people off buying as it feels more cost effective to rent.

“The big issue at the moment continues to be when interest rates might rise. This event feels a little closer, following comments from the Bank of England, yet many borrowers tend not to appreciate the impact of a rate rise until the first one actually happens – and with many youngsters never having experienced a rate rise, it will come as quite a shock when it does.”