Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“After a sustained period of stagnation, it would surely be a greater concern if we were not seeing house prices recover. News of continued growth in the latest Nationwide and Land Registry indices should be taken as a cause for celebration, with the improving outlook showing that confidence has improved and affordability measures such as Help to Buy are working.
“It is no surprise that London continues to lead annual growth, with Nationwide reporting the first double-digit annual house price rise in the capital since 2010. While London house prices are currently 8% above their 2007 peak, it’s important to remember that London has always been a hub of property investment and was one of the areas least affected by the recession. It makes no sense to take London as a marker for house prices across the country.
“Instead it’s vital we see the bigger picture which is that the average UK house price remains 8% below the peak of 2007*. The Bank of England is poised to take action if needs be, so let’s not undo the good work so far and focus instead on preparing for part two of Help to Buy. It is undeniably a positive for consumers if managed properly and instead of scaring them off, we need to get the message out that genuine 95% mortgages will soon be available to help them access the property ladder.”