The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced that prices across the UK rose from the annual rate of 6.8% in January to a considerable 9.1% in February 2014. The ONS stated that house prices were 3.6% higher than the pre-recession peak in 2008.
Prices in London rose by their fastest rate for nearly seven years with an increase of 17.7%, the highest inflation rate since July 2007.
In fact, every nation in the UK saw a rise in prices over the last year but those in England rose above the rest with an inflation rate of 9.7%. This compared to a much lower 2.4% in Scotland, 5.3% in Wales and 2.8% in Northern Ireland.
The sudden increase may explain the results of a recent study from the Halifax Bank which found that new schemes designed to help people get on the housing ladder have done little to improve the prospects of under 45’s buying their own home.
Indeed, the ONS figures show that first-time buyers have been amongst those hardest hit by house price rises. While the price of houses sold to first-time buyers rose by 10.5% in the year to February, those sold to everyone else rose by 8.6%.
The housing charity, Shelter, said the only solution was to build more houses.
"We need to see the government commit to concrete plans that will close the ever-expanding gap between the homes we have, and the homes we need," said Campbell Robb, Shelter's chief executive.
"This is the only way to put the brakes on our rollercoaster housing market, and give a generation of priced-out young people and families the chance of a stable home," he added.
In his March budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced an extension of the government's Help to Buy Scheme, which allows buyers to put down a deposit of just 5% on a new home.
The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.
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