House prices in England & Wales rose by 0.7% in August, according to the latest house price index from LSL Property Services and Acadata.
This rise took the average price paid for a home to £282,816, up £1,876 on July and setting the eighth new peak for house prices this year.
In 2015, the largest rise in prices in a month had been a relatively modest 0.5% in both January and June, with lower rates prevailing during the intervening months.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “House price growth now firmly has the bit between its teeth, and August witnessed the strongest monthly boost for a year. Average property values across England and Wales have jumped 0.7% (equal to £1,876) since July, which is the biggest monthly increase seen since August 2014. So far in 2015, monthly price rises had struggled to break above the 0.5%, so this clearly marks a step up in pace, as a shortfall of summer sellers puts buyers in hot contention for properties.
“August’s monthly surge takes house prices to their eighth peak this year, with the typical home value in England and Wales now standing at £282,816. This means that compared to last year, average property prices have climbed £11,225. More importantly, all ten regions of England and Wales are showing annual increases in house prices – the last region to experience a year-on-year fall in property values was Wales in July 2013.
“Home sales across England and Wales reached 76,700 in August, down 14% on July levels. This should be taken with a pinch a salt – July was an exceptionally strong month for transactions, and activity in August can be seen as balancing this out. But August is also the first time in 2015 to date that property sales have fallen below their equivalent month in 2013. In the three months to July 2015, property sales have dropped 3% year-on-year. Across all of England and Wales, the North is the only region where activity has increased over the period, with home sales up 3% during May to July 2015 compared to the same three months in 2014.
“The largest fall in activity has been in East Anglia, with total property sales down 9%, and sales of flats 15% lower year-on- year from May to July. At the same time, this region has experienced the highest house price growth of any region, at 5.9% in July 2015. This dichotomy suggests it’s not demand that is the problem, but supply. The lack of properties coming onto the market here is intensifying competition and heating up price rises, above temperatures we’re seeing elsewhere.”