Land Registry figures published on 28th October show house prices rose 3.4% in the year up to September 2013 with the average price just over £167,000.  The peak was in November 2007 when the average hit nearly £182,000.  Supporters of the Government's controversial Help to Buy Scheme  say today's figures from the Land Registry do not support the theory that a housing bubble is being created.

A survey by the Halifax shows that 70% of people think house prices will keep rising for the next year with just six per cent thinking they will fall.  57% think that the next year will be a good time to buy a property with 41% thinking it will be a good time to sell. The survey (28th October) expresses the most confidence for two years.

The economy gathered speed over the summer growing at its fastest rate since 2010 according to the Office of National Statistics.  GDP in the three months to September surged to 0.8% - the best quarter since the second quarter of 2010.  Deloitte's consumer tracker survey published on 21 October revealed households are more optimistic about job opportunities and security and less worried about spending money on entertainment and holidays. Improvements are due to an increase in property prices which is raising perceptions of wealth.

Halifax reports (6th September) that house prices in the UK have risen by 5.4% in the three months to August.  The improved economy, low interest rates and government schemes such as Help to Buy have contributed.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development upgraded its 2013 outlook for the UK to 1.5% in September, up from its 0.8% prediction in May.  It adds the annualised rate of growth in the last six months of 2013 should pick up to 3.5%.

Mortgage approvals in July 2013 were at their highest level since March 2008 reports Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser in The Daily Telegraph of 2nd September.  Retail spending in July was three per cent up on a year ago in real terms (nearly five per cent in cash terms).  GDP is now estimated to have risen by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2013 - equivalent to an annual growth rate of nearly three per cent.

The buy to let market is thriving with the Bank of England's recent pledge of low interest rates creating confidence.  George Spencer, Chief Executive of online lettings company Rentify says:  "The buy to let market is seeing renewed confidence from landlords."  New data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed over £5 billion was advanced to landlords between April and June, up 21% on the first quarter and the highest amount since 2008.

As the sizzling summer continues, news on the economy looks good as Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, pledged low interest rates for several years in a bid to gain investor confidence.  Interest rates are expected to be held at record low levels until at least 2016 or when unemployment falls from 7.8% to 7% which translates into 750,000 new jobs being created.  Reflecting on the strong economic data, Mr Carney says:  "a renewed recovery is now underway."  Business and borrowers welcomed the clear direction with John Cridland, director of the CBI saying:  "Greater interest rate certainty and clarity from the Bank should provide a shot in the arm for business and household confidence."

The National Insititute of Economic & Social Research revealed that overall growth was up 0.7% for May to July with 13 sub sectors of manufacturing showing growth in June - a first since 1992.

Featherstone Property is featured in the August edition of specialist magazine Your Property Network. The seven page article comprises case studies in Weymouth, Blackpool and Bath together with an in depth interview with Andrew who explains his formula for success.  Available only on subscription, YPN (www.yourpropertynetwork.co.uk)  is the UK's only publication for active property people.  Andrew was approached by the editor Ant Lyons who was so impressed when he heard Andrew speak at a PIN meeting that he requested the feature.

What is a leasehold and how can its value be increased?