Rising lending sparks surge in house prices

THE PROPERTY market is steaming ahead of the rest of the economy, as mortgage lending and a surge of buyers in July drive the UK’s emerging recovery.
Figures revealed today show that July saw the largest rise in house prices since before the crash, after statistics out yesterday confirmed that lending to first-time buyers has reached its highest point since 2007.
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), July saw the fastest house price increases since late 2006, before the onset of the crisis.
RICS credited the controversial new Help to Buy scheme with sparking new market activity.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders also said yesterday that in the second quarter, lending to first time buyers was up to its highest level since 2007, as 68,200 first homes were purchased.
Despite the fact that housing market activity is still well below its pre-recession peak, Legal & General’s mortgage club also recorded its strongest ever month in July, topping an 18-year history.
Duncan Stott of the PricedOut campaign said that the news was not as rosy as it seemed for would-be owners: “The most dangerous aspect of Help To Buy, mortgage guarantees, hasn’t even begun yet. The government must now seriously consider whether even more stimulus is still warranted.”
London Central Portfolio also said yesterday that the average flat in England and Wales is now worth £250,000.