House prices rose by 3.2 per cent year-on-year in the West Midlands in November – more than every English region outside the South East.
Land Registry figures show the average price of a house in the region rose to £131,729, after a jump of 1.1 per cent from October.
The rise compares to a huge 10.6 per cent surge in London across the year, with an average house price of £396,646, and an increase of 3.5 per cent in the South East.
However, it is higher than any other English region – indeed the North East recorded a 1.6 per cent fall – while there was a rise of 3.3 per cent in Wales.
London has had a particular pull for wealthy overseas investors looking for a safe haven to place their cash. There have also been signs of “gazumping” – which happens when a buyer thinks they have agreed a deal to buy a house only for someone else to step in and outbid them - being back on the increase in the capital. The Land Registry’s latest figures also showed how house sales have been much stronger than in the same period last year.
The most up-to-date figures available show that during September 2013, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales increased by 24 per cent to 65,378 compared with 52,870 in September 2012.
The housing market has consistently shown a strong pick-up throughout 2013 following the introduction of Government schemes such as Help to Buy, which have given mortgage borrowers with small deposits a helping hand on or up the housing ladder.
The upturn in the housing market is said to have boosted consumer confidence, but there have also been fears that people are being encouraged to stretch themselves too far financially to meet rising prices.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “With funding more readily available than at any time in the past five years, many buyers are finally able to realise their property-ownership dream.
“This surge in demand is pushing up prices, particularly in London, where supply is already limited. Gazumping and sealed bids are becoming commonplace as relatively ordinary properties fetch a premium.”