House prices rose by 8.4% in 2013, Nationwide says

UK house prices rose by 8.4% in 2013 as the economy started to gain momentum, according to the Nationwide Building Society.

The annual rise meant the average home was now valued at £175,826, it said.

The change was driven by annual house price growth of 14.9% in the final quarter compared with a year earlier in London, but prices rose in all regions.

However, it said the average UK property price remained 5% below the peak in prices reached in late 2007.

The Nationwide’s figures are based on the lender’s own mortgage data, so do not give a complete picture of the UK housing market.

London rises

Other surveys published in recent months have suggested that the housing market, and rising prices, have been driven by London.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, based on mortgage completions, said that average property prices in London increased by 12% compared with 5.5% for the whole of the UK in the year to the end of October.

The same pattern is present in the Nationwide data. It suggested that average prices in London were now 14% higher than their previous peak in 2007. The typical London home now cost £345,186.

In the English regions, London saw the greatest acceleration by some distance, with the north of England registering the slowest annual price growth, up 1.9%.

Meanwhile, there was a 7% year-on-year rise in house prices in Northern Ireland, Scotland saw a 3.7% increase over the same period, and prices were up 6.1% in Wales.

Commentators are expecting UK house prices to continue to rise in 2014. Those asked by the BBC News website said they expected prices to go up by between 4% and 8% next year.

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