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Average UK house prices soar to record £276,000

Brits forked out £276,000 on average for new homes in January 2022, some £24,500 more than they would have done a year ago.

While the jump is stark researchers at Halifax said that the rate of growth is slowing as incomes are squeezed by spiralling inflation, which has reached its highest level for 30 years at 5.4 per cent. In January house prices were up by 9.7 per cent compared to the previous year, but rose just 0.3 per cent month on month, the lowest growth rate since June 2021.

“Overall prices remain around £24,500 up on this time last year, and £37,500 higher than two years ago,” commented Russell Galley, the managing director at Halifax.

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Activity in the property market peaked during the pandemic, driven by a ‘race for space’ under lockdown and the government’s stamp duty holiday. However, Halifax revealed that the volume of houses being sold is now falling to pre-pandemic levels.

“Affordability remains at historically low levels as house price rises continue to outstrip earnings growth. Despite record levels of first-time buyers stepping onto the ladder last year, younger generations still face significant barriers to home ownership as deposit requirements remain challenging,” Galley said.

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Galley noted that the challenge of stepping on to the housing ladder for first-time buyers is likely to worsen next year as household budgets face greater earning pressure from an increase in the cost of living and rises to the interest rate which could feed through to mortgage prices.

“While the limited supply of new housing stock to the market will continue to provide some support to house prices, it remains likely that the rate of house price growth will slow considerably over the next year,” Galley forecast.

The data further revealed that house prices are rising fasted in the devolved region of Wales. Annual house price growth stood at 13.9 per cent, with the average price of a house standing at £205,253. While London was the weakest performing area of the UK house price inflation still stood at 4.5 per cent.

By LILY RUSSELL-JONES

Source: City AM

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ONS: Average UK house prices reach record high

Average UK house prices rose by 7.6% in the year to November to reach a record high of £250,000, according to the ONS House Price Index.

The data shows that this increase is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since June 2016.

In addition, this is up from the year to October, which noted a 5.9% rise.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £267,000 (7.6%), Wales to £180,000 (7.0%), Scotland to £166,000 (8.6%) and Northern Ireland to £143,000 (2.4%).

The average house price in London surpassed £500,000 for the first time in November 2020.

Furthermore, the North East is the final English region to surpass its pre-economic downturn average house price peak of July 2007, to now stand at £140,000.

Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “The latest ONS house price index figures will be welcomed by existing homeowners.

“The resilience of the housing market continues to shine through as people remain encouraged to move house with or without the benefit from the stamp duty relief, no doubt also encouraged by the rollout of the a COVID-19 vaccine.

“There remain challenges, however, and the government’s decision to extend the furlough scheme until the end of March, will be welcomed by many homeowners exploring their options.

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“At Legal & General Mortgage Club, we saw searches for furlough friendly mortgages increase by 230% in November 2020, when compared to the previous month.”

“Buyers wanting to access the best and most suitable mortgage products should absolutely consider speaking with an independent mortgage adviser, particularly as we draw closer to the government’s stamp duty holiday deadline, which is creating very high demand.”

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer of Gatehouse Bank, added: “House prices defied expectations by increasing throughout 2020 and leading to a record high in November, with the stamp duty discount driving strong demand from buyers — but there are signs from other indices that price growth has now begun to slow.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“The UK housing market is still open for business during this lockdown, but demand is likely to have started to taper off as buyers begin to concede they will not be able to complete a transaction in time to make the stamp duty deadline.

“The March 31 cut-off is looming, and although professionals across the industry are working in earnest to get applications over the line in time, fears are mounting about how many agreements could fall through.

“With property portal Rightmove predicting as many as 100,000 buyers could face an unwelcome tax bill when their sale fails to complete on time, all eyes are turning to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and whether he may extend or add a taper mechanism to the scheme or risk deals falling apart.”

Guy Gittins, managing director of Chestertons, said: “The second lockdown no doubt encouraged some people to put their property search on hold, but we didn’t notice a big difference and activity levels were still a lot higher than we anticipated for this time of year.

“Part of this was driven by the incentive of the stamp duty saving, but we believe the main driver was that people just wanted to move as quickly as possible while conditions were favourable.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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