Average UK house prices up 6.1% House prices in the UK have increased in value by 6.1% annually in the year to September 2015, an increase from the rise of 5.5% recorded in August and the 5.2% rise seen in July, so say the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This brings the average house price across England to £286,000. Although an impressive increase in value, it does not match the price rise seen a year earlier, where they rose by 12%. As always there were wide regional variations, with prices in Northern Ireland topping the list with a 10.2% increase, whilst Wales and Scotland could only record a modest 1.1% rise. In average house price terms, London, as usual, topped the list with houses there now averaging £531,000 and recording an average increase of 7.2%. Overall, the increase in house prices in England was driven by the annual increases in London (as above), in the East by 8.4% and the South East rising by 7.4%. At the other end of the scale houses in the North East of England averaged £158,000 for a more modest annual increase of 1.8%. The increase in the number of first-time buyers, pushed the price paid by them up 4.3% on average, against the same time last year, while owner occupiers (existing owners) also saw an annual increase of 6.9%. Commenting on these figures, a former Chairman of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), Jeremy Leaf, was reported to have said: “With average property prices in London now £531,000, unless you earn way above the national average salary, you have precious little hope of being in a position to buy. “Generation rent is being left out in the cold; they have aspirations to buy but are being pushed further away from their goal.”
Markets – November (Data supplied by The Outsourced Marketing Department) Despite tragic terrorist activity in Paris, resulting in the death of 130 innocent civilians, and the shooting down of a Russian bomber across the Syrian/Turkish border, the equity markets, surprisingly, maintained their composure. Despite incurring large losses in mid- November, the FTSE100 rallied to close at 6,356.1, down just 0.08% on the month and up 1.7% on the quarter. The wider FTSE250 fared even better gaining 1.77% in November to finish at 17,420.7, whilst the junior AIM market matched the FTSE100 performance to lose 0.08% at 737.3. In the USA the Dow Jones trod water, closing out November at 17,719.92 for a marginal gain of 0.32%, with the Nasdaq index rising 1.09% to end at 5,108.67. As reported last month, the prospect of renewed fiscal stimulus from the European Central Bank, allowed the Eurostoxx50 to maintain its positive momentum, as it gained just under 45 points to 3,488.99 for a 2.07% improvement on the month. Likewise, the Japanese Nikkei225 index also remained in positive territory, finishing at 19,747.47 an improvement of 3.48%. The foreign exchange markets saw the US Dollar powering ahead of the Euro currency, breaking parity to $0.94 for a 14.5% uplift, whilst the Euro also slipped against Sterling to €1.42 a fall of 1.43%. Given the bullish sentiment in the US Dollar, due to the anticipation that the US Fed will raise interest rates soon, Sterling slipped 1.43% to $1.51. Gold lost its recent momentum falling $76 in the month to $1,065.8 an ounce and recording a 6.62% fall. Oil, as measured by the Brent Crude benchmark fell yet again – as a result of continuing oversupply – to $44.61 a barrel and compounding its year-to-date fall to 22.19%.

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