The U.K. housing market had its best year in 2013 since 2006, out performing market forecasts.
Home values across the U.K. increased 1.4 percent in December, pushing 2013’s total gain to 8.4 percent, the biggest annual increase since 2006, according to a Nationwide Building Society report cited by Bloomberg News.
And separate reports in London show that mortgage approvals are now at their highest point in almost six years, while construction growth is being led by homebuilding.
“Surveys consistently show markedly rising buyer interest and strengthening activity so house prices look set to see further strong increases,” Howard Archer, chief U.K. economist at IHS Global Insight in London, told Bloomberg News.
However, the average U.K. home price — 175,826 pounds — is still about 5 percent below its 2007 peak, according to Nationwide. Of course the story is different in London, where the average home price is 345,186 pounds — 14 percent above 2007 levels. [Bloomberg News] –Christopher Cameron