Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“While recovery in the housing market is now firmly established, house prices are beginning to moderate. This suggests the initial surge in demand seen throughout 2013 is beginning to temper as consumers become more confident about their homeowning prospects.
“Annual growth is certainly robust and mortgage finance is now far more accessible as lenders have been bolstered by an improved economic outlook, while mortgage rates continue to stay at record lows. With the government’s Help to Buy scheme extended until the end of the decade, and reassurance from the Bank of England that any rise in rates will be gradual, consumers can remain confident in their chances of successfully buying a home.
“However, supply continues to lag behind demand, and this problem must be tackled if homes are to remain affordable for first-time buyers. Investment in construction and recruitment of skilled labourers is essential if we are to keep the momentum of housing recovery going.”