House prices jump £700 in January
- Home values rose 0.2% (£688) last month, as the average house price in England and Wales breaks the £290,000 barrier
- Property prices now increasing at twice the pace of earnings, up 5.5% annually compared to 2.1% salary growth
- Biggest monthly boost in Bournemouth with a 2.9% (£7,371) upswing – driven by more tech jobs in the city
- Strongest sales surge found in the North West, up 8.8% year-on-year as buyers seek more property for their money
Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “Existing homeowners have seen a satisfying New Year’s nudge in the value of their homes, making a positive start to 2016. While the 0.2% rise may seem small, we’ve now broken through the £290,000 barrier in average home values across England and Wales. Last June, average prices crossed the £280,000 marker, but we have to go back to August 2014 for the crossing of the £270,000 threshold. We’re now passing these milestones in quicker and quicker succession, as prices pick up pace. This hastening is good news for homeowners, but means it’s getting harder for those still hoping for homeownership. In the last twelve months there’s been a 5.5% upswing in average property prices compared to just a 2.1% rise in average earnings. However, aspiring buyers now have much more support to help get a foothold on the ladder, with the launch of the Help to Buy ISA in December and the new Starter Homes scheme this year. But in the longterm there has to be a huge breakthrough in housebuilding if we’re going meet the growing demand for homes and keep house price growth sensible.