The Bank of England has kept interest rates at a record low following its meeting today (6 March).

Over half of postcodes in England and Wales recorded rising house prices in February in the widest spread grown in a decade (March 3).  Over 51% of postcodes saw price increases says Hometrack, marking the biggest spread of coverage since the survey started in July 2004.  Only 0.4% of postcodes saw a price fall.

House prices increased by 0.6% in February, a 9.4% increase on the previous year says the Nationwide (February 28).  The annual rate of growth is the fastest for four years with the average property costing nearly £178,000.  The Land Registry says that the average in London is £410,000.

The number of mortgages approved in January was at its highest since 2007.  The British Bankers' Association says (Feb 26) that nearly 50,000 loans were approved up 57% on a year ago.  The Help to Buy Scheme has driven demand says David Dooks, the BBA's Statistics Director.

Inflation in January 2014 fell to 1.9% - the first time in four years it has been below the Bank of England's 2% target (Feb 18).

The average house price in the UK has hit £250,000 for the first time ever and will pull thousands of owners into the 3% stamp duty bracket the Office of National Statistics says today (Feb 18).  The ONS says that prices are 1.6% higher than their previous peak in January 2008 just before the financial crisis hit.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has said that interest rates will not be increased to pre-crisis levels of five per cent until all the spare capacity in the economy has been used.  He has ruled out action to cool the fast rising London house market because a significant amount of property is bought without a mortgage.  He has said that house price rises are now a generalised phenomenon across the UK apart from in Northern Ireland.  He made his comments on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme on February 16th.

The Bank of England has revised its growth forecast for 2014 to 3.4% up from 2.8% last November (13 Feb). Forecasts for 2015 and 2016 have been raised to 2.7% and 2.8% respectively.

The UK economy is not strong enough to support a hike in interest rates says Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England today (12 Feb).  In a forthcoming report Mr Carney will say that a rate increase would trigger a rise in mortgage payments for millions.  The Bank of England is expected to move towards a broad range of measures to ensure recovery continues.

Optimism in UK business is at its highest level for 22 years a survey using information from the Bank of England, CBI and other data reveals today (10 Feb).  The survey was done by business consultants BDO which says that economic recovery is well and truly underway.