Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“UK house prices have continued to march steadily upwards in the second half of 2013. Nationwide figures demonstrate an increase of 1% in October, leaving prices 5.8% higher than this time last year. Driving this steady procession is an increased sense of consumer confidence and willingness to enter the market, as Help to Buy and Funding for Lending schemes make mortgage finance more accessible.
“However, there’s no reason to suggest that we are racing towards a house price bubble. House prices are rising from a low starting point and the national average is still 7% lower than the 2007 peak. Regional variations mean that the dizzying heights of London house prices do not necessarily apply to the rest of the country, painting a far less fatalistic picture than many would suggest.
“With mortgage rates at historic lows, it’s unsurprising that consumers are grabbing the opportunity to jump on the property ladder with both hands. However, we must ensure that those with low deposits are not left behind at the starting line and that mortgage finance remains accessible and affordable.”