House prices in London reach a new record high
by Simon Harris: Political Correspondent
House prices in London have reached a new record high after yet another monthly surge.
The average price of a home in London hit £485,000, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.
The ONS monthly House Price Index showed an average increase of £26,000 from March to April.
The news will come as a blow to first-time buyers in the capital struggling to gain a foothold on the property ladder.
Based on the rate of increase, figures for May are likely to show the average house price has already topped half a million pounds.
The figures pour cold water on recent claims of a "cooling off" in the London property market.
The £485,000 average price compares with £271,000 in the rest of England. London prices rose annually by 18.7% while the rest of the UK saw an increase of 9.9%.
Labour used the latest figures to attack London mayor Boris Johnson. London Assembly member Tom Copley said:
In an interview this week, Boris Johnson said he thinks that soaring property prices are "the right problem to have". With the average house in London now worth £485,000, low and middle incomes Londoners struggling to get on the property ladder would vehemently disagree with this assertion.
Boris Johnson has utterly failed Londoners on housing over the past six years of his Mayoralty. A key driver for the soaring property market is the fact that he is currently only building a third of the 62,000 new homes we need in London each year to keep pace with our growing city.