Annual house prices have jumped 6.8% in the last year. Our exclusive analysis explains why values have continued to rise despite the chaos.
Feeling a bit lost with so many house price indices out there? The HomeOwners Alliance House Price Watch looks at all the information from the many indices out there to give you one easy to digest round-up of everything you need to know.
The House Price Watch looks at how prices have changed in different regions over the past month and year.
House prices soaring – for now
Over the last year, house prices have jumped 6.8%, meaning the average UK home is now worth £251,500.
While you might have expected prices to tumble given the pandemic and general economic uncertainty, analysts believe that the increase in prices is down to a couple of factors.
First, the Government's decision to scrap Stamp Duty for homes under £500,000 until March has convinced many to fast track their moving plans, further driving up demand.
Second, with many people expecting to work from home in the long term, they're now rethinking where they want to live and what type of home they want.
But while this has led to a massive glut of buyers scrapping over properties in the short term, broader economic uncertainty and job insecurity mean means the outlook for 2021 is notably less positive.
For example, Halifax has warned in its latest analysis that the upturn in the housing market could be "running out of steam", while the HOA believes the boost from the Stamp Duty holiday is ‘likely to be dissipating.’
House prices across the UK
Looking at the regional breakdown over the last 12 months, the North West and Wales both showed the strongest growth at 11.2% and 10.7%, respectively.
The East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber and South West also saw strong house price growth over the same period at over 10% each.
Even the worst-performing region (London) still saw a sizeable increase in house prices at 3.5%.
How did prices in your area perform?
When we look at price moves over the last month, which admittedly is a far less reliable metric than annual data as it is more susceptible to freak fluctuations, the picture is mostly positive.
House prices in nearly all regions increased over the last month, except for London where house prices fell by 1.1%.
What the indices say
HomeOwners Alliance: “There are signs that the housing market is calming after a frenzy of activity in recent months.
“New buyer enquiries and seller instructions are beginning to soften, and house price growth is slowing.
“It is likely that the current lockdown is deterring some would-be buyers or sellers from starting their house purchase or sale right now.
“As the Stamp Duty holiday nears its end, the added boost this was providing to the market is also likely to be dissipating.”
RICS: “The January 2021 RICS UK Residential Survey results point to a generally weaker trend in activity across the sales market to open the year.
“Survey contributors suggest that, although agents have been permitted to remain open during the third national lockdown, the overall situation around the pandemic at present is deterring would-be buyers and vendors.”
Nationwide: “January saw the annual rate of house price growth slow modestly – the first monthly decline since June.
“To a large extent, the slowdown probably reflects a tapering of demand ahead of the end of the Stamp Duty holiday, which prompted many people considering a house move to bring forward their purchase.”
Rightmove: “Housing market activity in the first few weeks of January often sets the tone for the whole year, though the 2021 outlook is somewhat muddied by the challenges of the pandemic and by the 31 March stamp duty holiday deadline.
“However, two main things stand out.
“Firstly, sellers who have come to the market are continuing to price very competitively, with some perhaps still hoping to find a buyer and complete before the tax-saving cut-off.
“Secondly, buyer activity has continued to exceed the same period a year ago, even though 2020 also had a very active start.”
Halifax: “There are some early signs that the upturn in the housing market could be running out of steam, with the annual rate of house price inflation cooling.
“Industry figures for agreed sales remain well above pre-pandemic levels but new instructions to sell have decreased noticeably, and total stock held by estate agents has risen to its highest level since before the EU referendum in 2016.”
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