House prices up by more annually than savings on Stamp Duty holiday

House prices up by more annually than savings on Stamp Duty holiday

10:18 AM, 7th October 2020, About 4 years ago 5

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The September Halifax House Price index has just been released showing annual growth of 7.3%, quarterly growth of 3.3% and a monthly increase of 1.6%. The new average house price now stands at £249,870.

The key question is how long will pent-up demand from the lockdown and the Stamp Duty holiday incentive continue to outstrip the supply side and drive house prices?

HMRC monthly property transactions data shows a fourth consecutive monthly rise in UK home sales in August with seasonally adjusted residential transactions up by 15.6% from July.

Bank of England figures show the number of mortgages approved for house purchases was 84,715 in August representing a rise of 28% from July and the highest level since October 2007.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “The average UK house price is now approaching £250,000 after September saw a third consecutive month of substantial gains. The annual rate of change will naturally draw attention, with the increase of 7.3% the strongest since mid-2016. Context is important with the annual comparison, however, as September 2019 saw political uncertainty weigh on the market.

“Few would dispute that the performance of the housing market has been extremely strong since lockdown restrictions began to ease in May. Across the last three months, we have received more mortgage applications from both first-time buyers and home movers than any time since 2008. There has been a fundamental shift in demand from buyers brought about by the structural effects of increased home working and a desire for more space, while the stamp duty holiday is incentivising vendors and buyers to close deals at pace before the break ends next March.

“It is highly unlikely that the housing market will remain immune to the economic impact of the pandemic. The release of pent up demand and indeed the stamp duty holiday can only be temporary fillips and their impact will inevitably start to wane. And as employment support measures are gradually scaled back beyond the end of October, the spectre of increased unemployment over the winter will come into sharper relief.

“Therefore while it may come later than initially anticipated, we continue to believe that significant downward pressure
on house prices should be expected at some point in the months ahead as the realities of an economic recession are felt ever more keenly.”

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Neil Patterson

10:24 AM, 7th October 2020, About 4 years ago

Founder and CEO of, Colby Short, commented:
“Home sellers continue to benefit from the uplift in buyer demand spurred by the current stamp duty holiday, with sold prices up across the board on a monthly basis with the exception of Scotland.
This is being driven by the more affordable regions of the UK where the price threshold of £500,000 and the resulting stamp duty saving is more abundant and this is a trend that should remain consistent right through until next April.”

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented:
“It’s quite easy to get carried away with the huge house price growth being shown at the front end of the transaction process via mortgage approvals and asking prices. However, the reality is that the market is moving at a far slower rate where actual sold prices are concerned.
Although prices have still gained positive ground, this likely to be a temporary hoorah and there is a very strong chance that this growth will recede rapidly come April once the sun has set on the stamp duty holiday.”

Adam Pigott, CEO of OpenBrix, commented:
“We’ve seen a huge boost to market sentiment as a result of the current stamp duty holiday and it seems as though a second adrenaline shot may be administered in the form of a potential 95% mortgage for struggling homebuyers.
Should this be the case, house price growth should remain consistently strong although it’s yet to be seen to what extent the end of the furloughs scheme may dampen this appetite.
Until this impact is felt, the market continues to fire on all cylinders and we are a world away from the catastrophic declines that many predicted at the start of the year.”

Neil Patterson

10:26 AM, 7th October 2020, About 4 years ago

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:
“It’s now abundantly clear that the market has not only shrugged off any pandemic induced symptoms but has also well and truly waved goodbye to the prolonged uncertainty caused by Brexit.
Of course, any knee-jerk restrictions imposed by the Government in the coming months could result in a case of one step forward, two steps back where price growth is concerned.
It’s therefore imperative that we allow the industry to remain operational to service the overwhelming levels of buyer demand seen in recent months. Failing to do so could leave many buyers in lockdown limbo and cause house prices to plateau.”

Managing Director of Barrows and Forester, James Forrester, commented:
“Yet further signs of a monumental market revival and one that continues to be fuelled by heightened levels of buyer demand. The questions is how much fuel is left in the tank?
It’s very likely that we will see this strong level of growth sustained as we see out the remainder of the year. However, with the furloughs scheme coming to an end, this could be the final swan song before a period of muted market activity.
The Government has played its hand in anticipation of this with the promise of 95% mortgages for those struggling to get on the ladder. However, even a 5% deposit may prove financially unviable for those struggling to find work.
So while the outlook is certainly a bright one at present, there may well be dark clouds on the horizon. There’s no doubt the market can weather this storm, but its the duration and initial damage of that storm that remains to be seen.”

Managing Director of Enness Global Mortgages, Hugh Wade-Jones commented:
“Homebuyers continue to take advantage of great mortgage rates where they can and this is allowing them to buy bigger and better with more space both indoors and out. Naturally, these homes command a higher price tag and this is helping to contribute to a much more buoyant rate of house price growth.
This is certainly a trend that’s being led by the top end of the market and by those with the financial stability to transact on these larger homes at the drop of a hat.
As this demand is met and starts to subside we will see these huge levels of top-line house price growth follow suit and a more ‘normal’ market landscape return.”


10:49 AM, 7th October 2020, About 4 years ago

And yet the cladding fiasco preventing sellers from selling and buyers from buying and mortgage lenders from lending drags on and on.
I happen to be one of those owners with a very nice apartment for sale just under the GBP500 000 radar that has to await the elusive EWS1 certificate which has a several year waiting list for a suitably qualified fire expert.
And there are 1000's of us. Frankly it's scandalous.

Ed Regent

12:13 PM, 8th October 2020, About 4 years ago

I agree Dale, I'm in the same boat several times over with a portfolio of apartments waiting for EWS1 certificates! If the powers that be spent as much time on clearing up this mess as they do on gimmicks we'd all be better off and it would help free up the market, esp. the younger end of it.

Jon D

19:32 PM, 11th October 2020, About 4 years ago

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Reagan.

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