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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

London prices leap £23,000 in a month

London house prices surged in May to add £23,132 to the value of the average home, new figures show.

The capital's property market has hit new heights, with the average house price soaring 17% over the last 12 months to £536,286.

That compares to £513,154 in April, according to the latest housing market monitor from estate agency haart.

There are now 20 prospective buyers chasing each property in the capital.

Across the UK, the average house price is now £212,494, up 5.6% annually and 1.4% on the month.

Eleven buyers are chasing each available UK property.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, said: “With reports of consumer confidence on the rise, spending on the up and zero inflation, it’s full-steam ahead this spring for London and UK property market."

With mortgage rates likely to stay low for longer, prices look set to rise further. "More people will aspire to buy, and without accompanying fresh supply property will become more unaffordable.

“First-time buyer activity in London is down significantly with 30% fewer first-time buyer registrations in May 2015 compared to May 2014.

“The result will be that talented young professionals are driven from key areas as they can’t afford to live there."

Smith said this is bad news for local economies and UK plc. "We need at least 200,000 homes built every year to keep the housing supply crisis under control.”

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