Average UK house prices hit record high of £254,606 in March, Halifax data shows

2 months ago 26

House prices hit a record high of £254,606 on average in March after the stamp duty holiday put a 'spring in the step' of buyers, according to research by a leading High Street bank.

Figures from Halifax show house prices have jumped by 1.1% month-on-month, meaning across the UK, the average price is around £15,000 higher since the start of the national coronavirus lockdowns in March 2020.

This equates to an average increase of more than £1,000 per month.

Values in March 2021 were 6.5% higher than the same month last year, the Halifax data showed.

The bank said Government support measures and a stamp duty holiday have been key to bolstering the housing market.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: 'Following a relatively subdued start to the year, the housing market enjoyed something of a resurgence during March, with prices up by just over 1% compared to February.

'This rise - the first since November last year - means the average property is now worth £254,606, a new record high.

House prices hit a record high of £254,606 on average in March, according to research from Halifax

This two bed property in Maidstone is on the market for £260,000 - only marginally higher than the UK's average propertuy price

It is on the market amid the news from Halifax that house prices have jumped by 1.1% month-on-month

The two bedroom Victorian terraced house is listed on property website Rightmove

'A year on from the early days of the first national lockdown, March's data shows that house prices rose by 6.5% annually, or £15,430 in cash terms.

'Casting our minds back 12 months, few could have predicted quite how well the housing market would ride out the impact of the pandemic so far, let alone post growth of more than £1,000 per month on average.

'The continuation of Government support measures has been key in boosting confidence in the housing market.

'The extended stamp duty holiday has put another spring in the step of home movers, whilst for those saving hard to buy their first home, the new mortgage guarantee scheme provides an alternative route on to the property ladder.'

But Mr Galley also warned of a 'cautious' approach when considering the long-term outlook for the housing market. 

After the boost injected into the market over the last year, it is difficult to predict what the housing market will look like in a post-Covid world. 

'Overall we expect elevated levels of activity to be maintained in the coming months, with consumer confidence spurred on by the successful vaccine rollout, and buyer demand still fuelled by a desire for larger properties and more outdoor space, as work-life priorities have shifted during the pandemic.

'A shortage of homes for sale will also support prices in the short term, as lower availability always favours sellers.

'However, with the economy yet to feel the full effect of its biggest recession in more than 300 years, we remain cautious about the longer-term outlook.

'Given current levels of uncertainty and the potential for higher unemployment, we still expect house price growth to slow somewhat by the end of this year.'

House prices hit a record high of £254,606 on average in March, with this new-build property in Sherburn Village, Durham, on the market for £254,950

The property is a five bedroom home and conceptual pictures posted on Rightmove show how it could be decorated 

Despite the positive figures, Halifax warned of an 'uncertain' post-Covid future for the housing market

Halifax warned of a 'cautious' approach when considering the long-term outlook for the housing market as uncertainty and the potential for higher levels of unemployment mean house prices will likely slow before the end of the year. Pictured: A 'mini housing boom' in 2020

This graph shows the change in house prices over the past four years across all the nations of the UK, with prices set to drop after the steep rise post-lockdown

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: 'The market rebounded strongly in March as buyers realised that the stamp duty holiday extension meant it was still possible to take advantage of the saving, while the continuing easing of lockdown provided further impetus.

'It is no surprise that the start of the year saw a more subdued market as lockdown and home schooling made viewings practically impossible.

'With hardly a day going by without another lender launching a high loan-to-value offering, and indeed rates coming down on these as more providers enter the fray, there is plenty on the lending front to tempt borrowers.'

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: 'What we are seeing is a real lack of stock which in turn increases competition and house prices.'

The top 10 villages listed by estate agent Savills have all seen average property sale prices rise more than 50 per cent, as demand outweighed supply in locations where homes rarely come up for sale. 

This three bedroom home in Torquay, Cornwall, is also on the market for around the current average house price in the UK

It is listed on property website Rightmove as up for sale to buyers willing to pay £260,000

It also comes with a private garden as well as a garage and off road parking, according to the listing

The list of top 10 villages includes Malborough, in Devon's South Hams, Bisley-with-Lypiatt, Blockley and Shipton-Under-Wychwood, which all benefited from the Cotswold effect, and Brasted, near Kent commuter hotspot Sevenoaks. 

The data compiled by Savills exclusively for MailOnline looked at parishes in England and Wales with the biggest increases in the average price of homes sold. 

It should be noted, however, that as transactions within such limited areas will be low, average local price gains can be much greater than in a broad national index and individual expensive property sales can skew the figures.

While the data analysed parishes - defined as towns and villages - the list only ended up featuring villages. 

This may reflect the trend among buyers for more quiet outdoor spaces and greenery during the pandemic as people have faced repeated lockdowns.

This three bedroom property in Cottingham is also for sale for £260,000 on Rightmove

Halifax say they expect to see house price growth slow somewhat by the end of this year

Savills was keen to highlight that the small nature of parishes means that sale numbers are limited - something that has a disproportionate effect on the price increases.

The estate agent explained how that the impressive price increases during the past year did not equate to price growth - and that, rather, they show what has been seen across country markets.

This has been a search for space, with many families upsizing and a search for greenery being a top priority for many buyers.

Frances Clacy, of Savills, told MailOnline Property: 'Over the past year, there's been a significant increase in demand for property in villages as many have looked to upsize for more inside and outside space.

'This is the opposite to the trend we'd seen over the period since the credit crunch when towns and cities tended to outperform, which means in many cases, villages now look good value in comparison and the ability to get more for your money has further increased buyers' desire for village life.' 

Savills used data covering November to November as this was the most up to date Land Registry figures it had access to at the point of doing the analysis. 

Read Entire Article