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Wed 14 Jun 2017

We are now nearly half way through 2017. We now understand that almost £3,500 was added to the value of the average house during April after the property market enjoyed a spring boost, according to official figures.

The data, which shows that annual house price inflation has risen to its highest level since last October, runs counter to reports from mortgage lenders and others that the market was slowing down.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average house price in the UK increased by 5.6% in the year to April – up on the 4.5% rate recorded the previous month – to reach £220,094. This was £3,491 higher than March’s figure. However, in some parts of the UK growth was stronger: the average house price in Scotland surged by £8,000 during April, rising from £138,000 to £146,000.

Smaller deposits raise hopes for UK first-time homebuyers

The re-emergence of higher loan-to-value mortgages combined with lower lending rates and realistic prices seem have boosted purchase prospects for first time buyers.

The latest government data seems to portray a healthier market than other industry sources on the surface, with the monthly rate of growth bucking the downward trends seen in the previous month to climb 1.6%.

Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC, said the figures “go against the recent trend of a Brexit-related slowdown that we predicted last year, but remain consistent with our guidance of 2%-5% growth in 2017 as a whole”.

Such a solid return to form suggests March’s sudden slowdown in price growth was a speed bump rather than a stop. But even so, the property market remains in low gear with prices being slowly ratcheted up by the chronic lack of supply.

So it appears the picture for buyers is still positive and locally we still believe that the market in Chester will remain firm into next year.