"Fastest House Price Rise for Seven Years”

British house prices bucked their usual holiday month trend in August to rise at their fastest rate for almost seven years.  This is according to the latest property market survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which also said that the number of houses being sold jumped to its highest level in three and a half years.  A balance of 40% of surveyors said that prices had risen in their area in August – up from 37% in the previous month.  An increase in enquiries from potential buyers was reported by 66% of its members and a net balance of 45% of surveyors expect further price growth over the next three months.

So far this year, Britain’s housing market has showed signs of revival.  With brighter signs for the general economy and boosts from various Government schemes coupled with additional Bank of England funding for lenders, house prices are predicted to rise by 2.2% over the next 12 months.  RICS global residential director, Peter Bolton King, said: “Momentum is increasingly broad-based across the country; this isn’t just a London story.  With positivity starting to return to areas right across the UK, it seems those who may have been waiting for the right time to sell are choosing now to do so.”

However, with signs of recovery for the market came fears of another housing bubble.  Despite Government schemes such as Help to Buy and the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending boosting buyer power, experts fear that if house prices continue to rise they will become unaffordable once more.  Last week, the Halifax said that house prices have risen by 5.4% since last summer, bringing the average house price up to £170,231.  New Bank of England governor Mark Carney recently addressed these concerns saying that he was ‘acutely aware’ of them and would take drastic action by clamping down on mortgage lending, if needed.

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