Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“The latest Land Registry data reveals a measured rise in house prices this year, with an annual change of 3.1 per cent bringing the average house price in England and Wales to £165,515. This reflects a surge of consumer confidence in 2013, as potential buyers – bolstered by falling rates and government assistance through Help to Buy – were increasingly drawn to the housing market.
“However, this rise is far from meteoric and the news that house prices are down 0.2 per cent month-on-month should help to quell fears of excessive price inflation. The Bank of England’s decision to withdraw the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) from the mortgage market from January will clearly impact mortgage rates, but it should also ensure a measure of calm going into 2014.
“A steady rise in house prices remains positive news, especially as they are returning from a low base brought on by the 2007 recession. Help to Buy will ensure demand and consumer confidence continues to grow in the wake of FLS, while a responsible attitude to lending and a watchful eye from the Bank of England will continue to nurture the seeds of recovery seen this year.”