London boom leads Britain’s housing market

 
Tim Wallace
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LONDON’S house prices boomed again last month, official figures showed, while the rest of the country’s real estate market returned to growth.

Prices in the capital shot up 6.2 per cent in the year to April, and 1.4 per cent in the last month, according to Land registry figures published yesterday.

The rise in London prices compares with a national increase of 0.7 per cent on the year, taking average prices to £161,458, and fall of 5.7 per cent in the north east.

Meanwhile Nationwide’s house price index increased 1.1 per cent on the year and 0.4 per cent in May. The rise indicates the market picking up again after a flat month in April.

“There has been an improvement in the availability and a reduction in the cost of credit, partly as a result of policy measures, such as the Funding for Lending Scheme. Indeed, mortgage rates have fallen back towards all time lows in recent months,” said Nationwide economist Robert Gardner.

“With the UK returning to growth in the first quarter of 2013, the improvement in wider economic conditions may also be playing a role in boosting sentiment.”