This is up from the equivalent figure for last month, which stood at 7.4%, and is thought to be driven by, amongst other things, an increasing lack of houses available on the market – all of this when such acceleration was believed to slow around the time of last monthís general election campaign.
The fastest acceleration in the UK was seen in Scotland, where house prices inflated by 14.6% – the fastest growth seen in the nation for 8 years.The ONS reported London and the South East of England both saw rises of 11.2%, just 0.2% lower than the 11.4% rise in the East of the country.
This increase comes somewhat unexpectedly given the aforementioned election and the tension felt during the campaign by sellers and lenders wary of potential changes to the market based on mansion tax amongst other policies.
These sentiments were reinforced by the CEO of Marsh and Parsons, Peter Rollings, who has also predicted increased activity in the ìhigh-endî housing market. The highest and lowest average house prices are still in London (£498,000) and Northern Ireland (£145,000) respectively, with the overall average price in the UK standing at £273,000 as of March – up £4,000 from the previous month.
House prices in the South West, South East, East and West Midlands and the East of the UK are all now at record highs, with London still sitting quietly behind the staggering highs reached in August last year.
The increase in house prices acceleration coincides with what the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported as an 11% decrease in first-time buyers taking out home loans in the first quarter of the year to 61,300.
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