House price growth breaks double-digit mark in April

House price growth has reached double digits for the first time in four years, with the average price of a home reaching £183,577 in April 2014.

According to the latest figures from Nationwide Building Society, the price of a house grew by 1.2 per cent compared to March and a whopping 10.9 per cent compared to April 2013, the first time since 2010 that growth has surpassed 10 per cent.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the strongest growth was in London and the south east of England. However, Nationwide notes that higher-end properties experienced the most rapid growth, suggesting the top end of the market is driving growth.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner says: 'Earnings growth is beginning to pick up, with wage increases finally outpacing the rise in the cost of living in February.

affordability

'Nevertheless, house price growth is outstripping income growth by a wide margin. The risk is that unless supply accelerates significantly, affordability will become stretched.'

He adds that although more new homes are being built, the rate at which they are going up lags far behind the rising demand.

Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly Finance, says: 'The issue for buyers now is very much affordability. Prices in some areas of the country are pulling away and are now miles ahead of income.

'With the current rate of house price growth, buying property is becoming risky and people need to be measured about what they can, and cannot, afford.'

Alex Gosling, managing director of online estate agent Housesimple.co.uk, says: 'Our figures show that since the start of the year more than a third of London properties have sold above asking price, as buyers bid against each other desperate not to miss out in fear that prices may run away from them.

'The problem is that sellers are either not in a rush to put their houses on the market as they look to cash in on booming prices, or they're simply not in a position to sell.'

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