House Price Rises

By: Luke Ashworth

We have been told for years that investing in land and bricks and mortar is a good idea and over the year house prices have continue to increase, but they have not increased equally across the country.

Greater London shows the highest average price increase over the last year with an increase just topping double figures at just over 11%. Well that is probably no surprise as London still attracts the highest salaries and there is a shortage of green field building sites.

The lowest price annual increase in average house prices was in the West Midlands where the increase was just over 4%.

The annual average increase was 7.5%. A comfortable increase but nothing to write home about. In fact over the last few months there has been a suggestion that house price rises may be starting the reach a plateau. Some of the blame has been put at the door of interest rate increases.

Traditionally less houses change ownership over the winter months surrounding Christmas but the market usually picks up again towards Easter. So any talk of house prices reaching a plateau could be a little early and should be judged later in the year.

House price increases can also change from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Some boroughs in London have boasted changes of up to 18%. In other parts of the country there have been local variations so even if your house was in one of the lower regions you could still have seen a valuable increase in your asset.

Whilst house prices continue to increase this provides additional safety for lenders who are in the mortgage and remortgage market.

Owners are also continuing with home improvements which help towards increasing average values. Central heating, double glazing, extensions and conservatories, that new drive way, a loft conversion and even landscape gardening can all go to making a house more desirable and therefore increasing the value.

The average price of a home was around ?174,000. So increasing the value by ?10,000 in home improvement could still push house prices up by 5%.

It is difficult to predict what will happen to house prices in the future. Even the experts disagree. Some suggest that house prices are cooling whilst other suggest that the housing market still has a good shelf life left in it. There is no doubt that buyers should select property wisely and that some locations will provide better investment opportunities than others. Selecting a property which increases substantially in value could means that your mortgage becomes a lower percentage of your house value. Requiring only a lower percentage mortgage could make you an attractive lender to a wider group of lenders and that might make the idea of remortgaging more attractive.

What ever the cost of your house you should also seek to get the best mortgage or remortgage deal. In that respect 'shopping around' is sound advice and the internet offers ample opportunities for you to do that. There are also some special deals for internet users.

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