US house prices soar by over 13 per cent in just a year

US house prices are climbing fast - up 13.3 per cent in the year to September according to the S&P/Case Shiller index. That's well above the 13 per cent increase that analysts had been expecting.

On this side of the pond, house prices increases are more moderate - at least at the national level. They rose by 13.4 per cent in the two years to October across the UK, according to Barnard Marcus.

In London housing market activity is more vigorous. Barnard Marcus say that 14 people are now trying to get on the housing ladder for every new instruction to sell, and Rightmove found that asking prices increased by a staggering 10.2 per cent in the month of September alone.

While house prices are often used as a barometer of economic strengthening - there are big questions to be asked about affordability. Much of the responsibility for huge increases in London prices lies with tight planning rules.

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