Booming house prices defy talk of cooler times

Chris Papadopoullos
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Data paints a mixed picture of house price growth
UK HOUSE prices continued their summer boom into September, official figures say, but other sources show price growth slowing.

House prices shot up by 12.1 per cent in the year to September 2014, up from 11.7 per cent in the year to August, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday.

It marks the fastest annual house price inflation since July 2007. London had the quickest price growth at 18.8 per cent. Excluding London and the south east, UK prices rose 9.1 per cent.

The continuation of the summer’s housing boom is at odds with data from Hal­­ifax and Nat­ionwide which both point to the market coming off the boil after August.

Survey data from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors also shows new buyer enquiries plummeting in recent months – especially in London – signalling a market cooldown.

“Although ONS annual figures show healthy growth, there is little doubt that house prices have lost some mom­entum in recent months,” said Jonathan Hopper, managing director of property search consultancy Gar­rington.

“The market is likely to stumble rather than stride into the New Year – estate agents are already starting to see a drop off in viewings, although a large part of this will be down to the traditional seasonal slowdown.”

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