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Has the average London house price topped £500,000?

by Simon Harris: Political Correspondent
  • New figures suggest the average house in price in London has already topped half a million pounds
  • The latest house price survey from the Office of National Statistics put the average price in April at £485,000
  • The survey revealed an increase of £26,000 on March
  • If that pace of rising prices continues, figures for May are likely to show an average price in excess of £500,000

Boris Johnson 'utterly failed Londoners' on housing

by Simon Harris: Political Correspondent

Labour used the latest figures to attack London mayor Boris Johnson. London Assembly member Tom Copley said:

In an interview this week, Boris Johnson said he thinks that soaring property prices are "the right problem to have". With the average house in London now worth £485,000, low and middle incomes Londoners struggling to get on the property ladder would vehemently disagree with this assertion.

Boris Johnson has utterly failed Londoners on housing over the past six years of his Mayoralty. A key driver for the soaring property market is the fact that he is currently only building a third of the 62,000 new homes we need in London each year to keep pace with our growing city.

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Cable: Stable mortgage level 'is three times salary'

It is crucially important that the banks don't throw petrol on the fire. Most of us who have been through various housing booms in the past have recognised that a kind of stable level is three or three-and-a-half times

I was appalled when I discovered that banks were lending five times.

They have already reined it back on advice from the Bank of England but this is the key area that the Bank of England has got to operate in to make sure that this boom in house prices, particularly in the south of England, doesn't destabilise the whole of the economy.

– Vince Cable, Business Secretary

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Vince Cable appalled about the size of home loans

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, says he is appalled about the size of some loans being agreed by some lenders and has urged the Bank of England to use its powers to intervene.

Credit: PA

Vince Cable renewed his stark warnings about the threat to the wider economy posed by soaring house prices in London and the south east amid reports Chancellor George Osborne will tackle the issue in his annual Mansion House speech later.

Mayor to launch accreditation scheme for landlords

The Mayor hopes the scheme will give tenants more power to choose a good landlord Credit: Reuters

London Mayor Boris Johnson is due to launch his new London Rental Standard scheme today. The initiative is aimed at setting standards for renting in the capital by giving out a badge of accreditation given to landlords aimed so renters can choose more wisely.

However, tenants association Generation Rent says the scheme is a waste of money as it is voluntary for landlords to sign up - and they also claim it duplicates work that some boroughs are already doing.

Homeowners extending London properties to avoid moving

London homeowners are more likely to carry out serious home improvements than in any other region because they can't afford to move house.

Homeowners in the South-East are increasingly extending their homes to avoid moving Credit: PA

New figures from Lloyds Bank show that property owners in the capital need extra bedroom space, so over a third (34%) have undertaken major work projects in the hope of adding value and a further 20% plan to within the next year.

In the South East, 38% of redevelopments are to create new bedrooms - significantly above the national average. This reflects the lack of available properties in the South East.

National

House prices up 12% in last five years

A graph shows average annual price changes in the last five years.
A graph shows average annual price changes in the last five years. Credit: Land Registry

Property prices in England and Wales have increased by 12% since they bottomed out five years ago.

According to figures from the Land Registry, average the value of the average home stood at £169,124 in March this year.

That is up from £150,490 in April 2009 - the lowest point following the crash that began a year earlier.

Price increases have been quickening as the economic recovery has taken hold, with stronger demand leading to a surge in values.

Read: Housing market boom 'biggest risk' to economic recovery

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