Aren’t house prices meant to be cooling? Property inflation hits highest level since October – and it’s Dartford that is the UK’s new hotspot

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Annual property price inflation has hit its highest level since last October according to latest data from the Office for National Statistics.

The average house price increased 5.6 per cent in the year to April 2017 – higher than the 4.5 per cent rate recorded the previous month – to reach £220,100. That is £3,500 more than March and £12,000 higher than this time last year.

The monthly index, which lags a month behind Halifax and Nationwide, also shows that Dartford, Kent, is the spot where prices have risen the most

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Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: ‘An increase in house price growth reflects the growing chasm between house price inflation and affordability.

‘First-time buyers will be the ones who largely bear the brunt of this, as they are either being forced out of home ownership or having to turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad to help find a deposit.

‘The main factor behind continued house price inflation is still the vast difference between supply and demand.’

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Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC, adds: ‘This increase goes against the general pattern of slowing growth since summer 2016, as average UK prices leapt by £3,500 in the month from £216,600 in March to £220,100 in April.

‘These figures go against the recent trend of a Brexit related slowdown that we predicted last year but remain consistent with our guidance of two to five per cent growth in 2017 as a whole.’

At a more local level, as well as Dartford, the Orkney Islands continues to see a surge in prices, although, because of small sales transactions, these can be volatile.

Nevertheless, prices are up 24.1 per cent in the area, to reach £151,543.

 

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