Construction up as house prices keep on rising

Tim Wallace
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HOUSE prices increased again last month, while building projects picked up and the government’s latest plan to help those with a low deposit buy a house gained traction, a raft of new data showed yesterday.

Prices across the UK jumped 2.6 per cent in the year to May, the fastest pace since 2010 according to Halifax.

The monthly increase of 0.4 per cent is the fourth consecutive increase and takes the average price to £166,898.

And construction activity is also picking up at last. Glenigan’s study of the industry found new construction activity increased by 1.9 per cent in the three months to May.

The value of new private housing projects shot up 15 per cent compared with the same period of 2012.

And new infrastructure projects saw a 31.3 per cent increase on the year.

“The improvement in the weather seen during April and May has allowed projects placed on hold in the first quarter to get underway,” said Glenigan economist Andrew Whiffin.

“The large amount of road refurbishment projects that started in the last month is testament to this.”

Meanwhile 4,000 new properties have been reserved by purchasers using the Help to Buy Scheme, according to the Home Builders Federation.

For the last two months buyers with small deposits have been able to take equity loans from the government to enable them to get a mortgage.

From next year the government will also offer buyers with small deposits a loan guarantee to stimulate demand.