Property prices and mortgage lending both increase over last 12 months


House prices have risen by 2.9 per cent in the last year, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics, writes.   
Latest data from the ONS shows that in the 12 months to May 2013, residential property prices had leapt almost three per cent nationally, driven by a surge originating in London. This is an increase of 0.3 per cent on the figures recorded in the year to April 2013.
The average British property price now stands at £239,000, compared with £229,000 in May 2012. This represents a monthly jump of £833 from 2012-2013.
While unsurprisingly perhaps, the largest price increases were seen in London at 6.6 per cent, there were 'decent rises' in the West Midlands and North West totalling 2.7 per cent each, writes.
The news is a reflection of the cautiously-growing confidence in the UK housing market and with more people than ever applying for mortgages, now could be the time to think about selling.
This has been boosted by two government schemes - Funding for Lending and Help to Buy - which were designed to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. They would appear to be making some headway; lending to buyers with smaller deposits is at a level 47 per cent higher than the same time last year.