10:04 AM, 10th May 2021, About a month ago 7
The latest Halifax House Price index reflecting April figures is showing house prices were 8.2% higher than in April 2020 with the average house value now £258,204. On a monthly basis, house prices in April were 1.4% higher than in March and in the latest quarter (February to April) house prices were 0.9% higher than in the preceding three months (November to January).
HMRC monthly property transactions data for UK home sales increased in March 2021 to their highest ever level. UK seasonally adjusted residential transactions in March 2021 were 190,980 – up by 32.2% from February (up 49.6% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis). The latest quarterly transactions (January-March 2021) were approximately 31.2% higher than the preceding three months (October–December 2020).
Year on year, transactions were 102.4% higher than March 2020 (107.9% higher on a non-seasonally adjusted basis). (Source: HMRC, seasonally-adjusted figures)
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “House prices in April eclipsed the record high set the month before as the market continued to maintain its recent momentum. In cash terms, almost £20,000 has been added to the value of the average home since the market had essentially come to a standstill in April 2020.
“The stamp duty holiday continues to add impetus to an extremely active market, magnifying the current shortage of available homes as buyers aim to take advantage of the Government scheme. The influence of the stamp duty holiday will fade gradually over the coming months as it’s tapered out but low stock levels, low interest rates and continued demand is likely to continue to underpin prices in the market.
“However, we do expect recent levels of activity to be sustained over the short-term as buyers continue to search for homes with more space and potentially better suited for their new working patterns. Savings built up over the months in lockdown have given some buyers even more cash to invest in their dream properties, while the new mortgage guarantee scheme may have eased deposit constraints for some prospective homebuyers who previously thought their first step on the housing ladder was a few years away.
“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.”
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