British house prices hit five-year high

London, April 13 (IANS) British house prices in March registered a seventh consecutive month of growth and reached a five-year high, boosted by London property prices, said Acadametrics and LSL Property Services Plc, the country’s house market agencies.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales rose 0.2 percent on the month to 230,078 pounds ($354,000), Acadametrics and LSL said in a monthly report published in London.

When compared to that of a year before, British house prices grew 6,700 pounds or 3 percent. Taking London out of the equation, however, the house prices annual change dropped to 0.5 percent, reported Xinhua.

“The disparity of 2.5 percent in the annual rate, between including London and not doing so, is the largest divergence we have recorded in any month since we began monitoring this effect in July 2005,” said the report.

The report also showed that home values in London rose 11.3 percent in the past three months compared with a year earlier. The average prices across England and Wales was 3.7 percent higher than that of 2012, while in the north of England, prices fell 1 percent.

David Newnes, director of LSL, said, “House prices in England and Wales rose 532 pounds between February and March and have only fallen once in the last 16 months, signaling that the housing market is now well clear of the storm clouds of the financial crisis.”

“Values have risen 6,701 pounds in the past year, and life has become marginally easier for first time buyers and house sales are increasing,” he said.

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