Salient to Investors:

Hometrack said UK house prices rose 0.9 percent in London, the most in 6 years, primarily driven by a shortage of properties, while average prices in England and Wales increased 0.4 percent, the biggest monthly increase since May 2007. London demand is up 15 percent in the past 6 months, while supply has fallen 0.6 percent.

Richard Donnell at Hometrack said the impetus for rising house prices is originating almost exclusively from London and the southeast – elsewhere prices are trending slowly upwards.

The IMF has criticised the Help to Buy program, saying there must also be measures to boost the supply of housing, else the result would ultimately be mostly house-price increases that would work against the aim of boosting access to housing. BOE Governor Mervyn King said Help to Buy  should not become permanent.

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