House prices in the UK are beginning to moderate, data from a leading mortgage lender has indicated.

According to Nationwide, the inflation of prices is slowing on a monthly and a quarterly level, with the chief economist for the firm, Robert Gardner, saying:

“There are some tentative signs of moderation.”

However, on an annual basis the increase continues, the firm said. With March figures showing a 9.5% acceleration, Mr Gardner added that the market was moving forward at a “robust” pace.

The data reveals a £180,264 average house value in the country.

That is the highest level since January 2008, but is still 3% short of the highest point seen in 2007.

Mortgage advisors and providers alike understand that cities, in particular, are seeing a surge in prices.

The results showed a rise of 18% in Manchester. Other big movers were Brighton and Cambridge, with both cities seeing a 14% uplift in average house prices, though the data also confirmed a widening gap with London prices.

According to the Nationwide, the capital’s average price was driven up by more than 18%. The lender said that this has resulted in prices now being twice the average they are on a national level.

There are fears that the rising prices in London and throughout the whole country could be the early signs of a bubble developing.

Tension is also brewing between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over the issue.

Vince Cable warned that middle income families can no longer afford to buy. Meanwhile, Tory housing minister Kris Hopkins says the rises are a good thing.

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