Scotland 'has demonstrated lowest price increases under Blair'

Property prices across the UK have increased by an average of 170 per cent under the Labour government, research released today indicates.

New figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) states that Northern Ireland has experienced the largest increases, hitting 240 per cent, while Scotland’s market has been more stable with increases at 140 per cent.

First time buyers looking to purchase a new house are estimated to need to save almost £31,000 in up-front buying costs, Rics asserts, adding that the cost of becoming a home purchaser has reached three times that of a decade ago.

Brian Berry, Rics’ head of public policy, observed: "The government needs to take more action to ensure that house building rises to sufficient levels if it is to make good on its promises to promote an inclusive and sustainable society where the poorest are not priced out of the housing market."

Today the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee announced a further increase in interest rates to 5.5 per cent, which David Stubbs, senior economist at Rics, stated would reinforce the slowdown currently occurring in the housing market.