UK market momentum maintained, reports Offshoreonline.org

Banks and building societies lent £16.6 billion in home loans last month , up 28% on a year earlier, as signs of a broad based and “healthy” recovery take hold, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders today.

The CML does not believe a short term boom is evident in the market, rather it feels talk of one is a healthy sign of the market recovering in general.

In other data released by the Land Registry, London house prices are up 6.3% in the year to July, but rises in other parts of the country are far more modest, with some areas such as the North East, North West and Wales still slipping back. The South East is up 1.5% in the year to July, suggesting the London effect may be starting to spread. According to the UK office for National Statistics, London prices rose 9.7% over the year to July, helping to push the value of homes across England to a new high of £255,000 on average. The Office for National Statistics uses a mix adjusted average to calculate house prices, whilst the Land Registry uses actual house sale data, including cash sales.

House prices in London and the South East both raced past their 2008 peaks and stood at an average of £438,000 and £303,000 respectively, while prices in the East of England and the South West also edged close to their previous highs, according to the ONS.

Tim Harvey of expatriate international mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org said, “We are certainly seeing a lot more enquiries now and there is a broad based interest from expats who are looking to buy in all the major cities including Edinburgh and London and regional centres such as Oxford. For those buying a house where family may eventually live, 80% mortgages are once again available, which is enormously important.”

Highlighting Newham and Lambeth, up 0.7% and 11.4% respectively, property search consultants Expatfindaproperty.com are reminding buyers of the importance of location for those expatriates wanting to start or add to buy to let portfolio.

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