British house price growth hits double figures: survey

29th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

British home prices leapt 10.5 percent in April from the same month last year, returning to double-digit growth for the first time since June 2007, home-loans provider Nationwide said on Thursday.

Prices rose by 1.0 percent in April from March, taking the annual gain to 10.5 percent, according to Nationwide.

The average value of a home in Britain stood at 167,802 pounds (193,171 euros, 256,132 dollars), according to the survey.

"April's figures show the first double-digit annual growth in UK house prices since June 2007," Nationwide's chief economist Martin Gahbauer said in a statement.

"The year-on-year rate in this month's figures, however, received an additional boost from the fact that April 2009 was one of the weaker months last year."

Gahbauer also sounded another note of caution, adding that the mortgage or home loan market remained subdued.

"The strong rebound in house prices over the last year has taken place within the context of a subdued mortgage market, with the number of mortgage advances across the industry still well down on pre-crisis norms," he said.

Market expectations had been for a month-on-month gain of 0.4 percent and annual growth of 9.7 percent.

"House price inflation returned to double-digit rates in April," said economist Ed Stansfield at the Capital Economics consultancy in London.

"However, with the pressure on household incomes more likely to rise than ease and surveys pointing to a new mood of caution amongst buyers, house price inflation may now have reached its high water mark for the year."

© 2010 AFP

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