House prices reach all time high in April

Housing prices in the UK have had the highest annual growth rate in 5 years. Data shows that average UK House prices reached a record high in April, with the average property now worth £258,204, an increase of 8.2% annually.

The extension of the stamp duty holiday deadline played a factor in the rise of house prices, with prices in Greater London increasing 0.3% from March and 2.1% higher than 2019. In terms of value, £20,000 has essentially been added to the value of the average home since the lockdown last year.

There has been a change in housing requirements since the first lockdown, with more buyers looking for garden and office space.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “House prices in April eclipsed the record high set the month before as the market continued to maintain its recent momentum.

Halifax’s Galley said: “There is growing optimism in the long-term outlook of the UK economy as the vaccination programme continues at pace, yet we remain cautious about the medium-term prospects of the housing market. As we said in March, the current levels of uncertainty and potential for higher unemployment as furlough support ends leads us to believe that house price growth will slow to the end of the year.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The stamp duty holiday is still the main impetus for buyers keen to take advantage of the saving but low interest rates are set to continue long after the concession has gone. Lack of stock is pushing up prices, with demand outstripping supply. This is making it hard for first-time buyers in particular, although increased choice of 95% mortgages may help them realise their home ownership dream sooner rather than later.”