Net consumer lending rose less than expected in September but the number of loans approved for house purchase hit an 18-month high, according to Bank of England figures released today. This is being hailed as a fresh sign of recovery in the housing market. A stance that is being supported by today’s reports by the Land Registry that house prices rose by 0.9% in September, compared with August. The average cost of a home in the UK now stands at £158,377.
Although Land Registry figures are compiled from completed transactions and, therefore, lag behind other key indicators, they are still seen as the most authoritative. The Registry further reports that the annual rate of deflation is now down to 5.6% and the average London house price is now only 3.2% behind the September 2008 level. Sadly, house prices in Wales and the North East continued to fall.
The biggest price fall was in flats and maisonettes, which were down 6.8% on September 2008 levels, with detached houses running at 4.3% lower.
It will be interesting to see the Nationwide Building Society house price index for October, which is due for release tomorrow. Last month, as we reported, it reported rising prices for the fifth consecutive month putting the average property price back on par to September 2008 levels.