Property news: House prices picked up in February
House prices up by 0.6% in February, says Nationwide
House prices increased by 0.6% in February, according to the Nationwide building society, supporting indications that the housing market is going through a revival. The increase took the annual change to 0.9%, compared with 0.6% last month, and means the average price of a typical home in the UK is now £162,712.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Evidence that house prices picked up a little in February follows a series of data releases suggesting that economic conditions may not be quite as weak as feared after the UK economy contracted in the final quarter of 2011. Read more on this story
Boost for new mortgage approvals
Mortgage approvals have hit a 25-month high after numbers were boosted by first-time buyers rushing to take advantage of a stamp duty holiday.
There were 58,728 loan approvals for house purchase in January, the highest figure since December 2009, Bank of England figures showed. Gross mortgage lending at £12.8 billion was higher than the six-month average, although approvals for remortgaging dropped off slightly to 31,952. Read more on this story
UK is mid-table in European house price league
The UK finished mid-table in a Europe-wide ranking of house price performance in 2011.
Our one per cent fall last year compared with rises of five per cent or more in Germany, France, Switzerland and Norway, according to the RICS European Housing Review 2012. But prices fell far less than in Ireland (-17 per cent) and Spain (-10 per cent). Read more on this story