Hometrack reports that house prices have seen the greatest coverage of house price gains in February 2014 since nearly a decade ago in July 2004.
Demand, says Hometrack, is spreading out from London and being driven by improving consumer confidence as well as low mortgage rates.
House prices also accelerated in February with increases of 0.7 percent (see chart below), which is the largest rise since April 2007.
February also saw an increase in demand for housing of 17 percent, the highest increase for two years.
The strongest gains were, as expected, seen in London (1.1 percent) and the South East (0.9 percent). ‘All other regions registered below average price gains as buyers remain cautious’ said Hometrack.
The supply of houses for sale also rose with the highest increase for nearly seven years (June 2007) of 11.2 percent. ‘The supply of homes for sale is growing off a low base and needs to grow further to close the gap between supply and demand and ease the pressure on house prices’ said Hometrack.
In good news for sellers the percentage of asking prices achieved is still increasing with an average of 95.8 percent. In London this was understandably higher at 98.8 percent, with the East Midlands and Wales seeing 94 percent.
Richard Donnell Director of Research at Hometrack commented:
“The housing recovery continues to spread across the country, building on the momentum that started a year ago. The latest survey shows that house prices increased across more than 50% of the country in February (51%). This is the greatest coverage of house price growth for almost a decade showing the extent to which market sentiment has improved in the last 12 months. The continued imbalance between supply and demand indicates we can expect further upward pressure on prices in the months ahead.”