Halifax: House prices up 8.2% annually

House prices rose by 8.2% in the year to April 2021, according to the Halifax house price index.

Halifax: House prices up 8.2% annually

House prices rose by a whopping 8.2% in the year to April 2021 as the average price of a property hit £258,204, according to the Halifax house price index.

On a quarterly basis, house prices rose by 0.9% and between April and March prices rose by 1.4%.

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.

“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.

“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.”

Martin Stewart, director of London Money, added: “Demand across all regions and buying demographics bordered on the insane in April.

“Prices could only go one way as a result. Throw in 25 years of consistently poor housing policy, causing a massive lack of supply, and the result is what we are witnessing today, a white-hot market.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said: “The housing market is hot, continuing to break new records with prices surging to a record high in April.

“Just a year after the market ground to a halt thanks to the pandemic, the average home is now worth an extra £20,000 – quite the achievement.

“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 homeownership dream sooner rather than later.”