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House prices increased by 8.2% annually in April, says Halifax

The average house price in April was £258,204, up 1.4% month on month and 8.2% annually, marking the highest annual growth rate in five years.

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House prices surged by almost £20,000 annually in April, passing a record high set the previous month, according to Halifax (Gareth Fuller/PA)

House prices surged by almost £20,000 annually in April, passing a record high set the previous month, according to Halifax (Gareth Fuller/PA)

House prices surged by almost £20,000 annually in April, passing a record high set the previous month, according to Halifax (Gareth Fuller/PA)

House prices surged by 8.2% annually in April, passing a record high set the previous month, according to an index.

Across the UK, the average house price in April was £258,204, Halifax said.

Property values increased by 1.4% month on month.

Halifax predicts that the pace of house price growth will slow later in the year.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “House prices in April eclipsed the record high set the month before (£254,604) as the market continued to maintain its recent momentum.

“The average property is now worth £258,204, up 1.4% month on month and 8.2% annually, the highest annual growth rate in five years.

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“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.”

In April 2020, the average house price was £238,511.

Mr Galley continued: “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 home buyers 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 marketRussell Galley, Halifax

The stamp duty holiday, which applies in England and Northern Ireland, was extended in March.

And a Government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme, launched in April, has resulted in several major lenders offering new 5% deposit mortgage deals.

Mr Galley added: “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.”

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “A combination of market confidence, along with growing optimism thanks to the vaccine rollout, is likely to strengthen the economy in the short-term at least.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said: “These record figures reflect not just what’s been happening to the property market in the past few months but add to growing confidence over the longer term sustainability of the recovery.

“In particular, the increase in new potential buyers we have seen on the ground who have little chance of profiting from the stamp duty holiday which prompted so many earlier moves, as well as buyers using savings they have been able to accumulate during lockdown.

“Limited supply and faster vaccine rollout is driving activity and upward pressure on prices. Values may soften when tapering of the stamp duty begins and furlough ends but the pace is likely to slow rather than prices changing dramatically.”


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