UK house price growth 'approaching madness'
Data showed house prices jumped 2.4pc in February, the biggest monthly increase in five years
For sale signs
The rise, revealed in the latest Halifax House Price Index, outstripped analysts’ expectations of a 0.7pc rise, renewing fears of a house price bubble. Photo: PA
By Rebecca Clancy
The speed UK property prices are rising at is “approaching madness”, analysts have warned, after data showed house prices jumped 2.4pc in February, the biggest monthly increase in five years.
The rise, revealed in the latest Halifax House Price Index, outstripped analysts’ expectations of a 0.7pc rise, renewing fears of a house price bubble.
House prices advanced 7.9pc on an year-on-year basis, the figures showed, taking the average price across the UK to £179,872 and marking the strongest annual uplift since October 2007.
Oliver Atkinson, director at urbansalesandlettings.co.uk, said in parts of Britain “the momentum is approaching madness, as price rises continue to accelerate”.
Stephen Noakes, mortgages director for Halifax, said the improving economy, falling unemployment, growing consumer confidence and low interest rates are all boosting the market.
The surprisingly strong data led to renewed calls for Government to cool policies it put in place to support the housing market.
“Cuts to the Help to Buy scheme would send a stronger message that the authorities are willing to take action to cool an overheating market,” said Matthew Pointon, property economist at Capital Economics.
Average house values remain 10pc below their 2007 peak and Mr Noakes said factors such as wage rises failing to keep up with inflation are expected to “constrain” property prices.