Annual UK house price growth sits at 8.9% by in April – ONS

The average UK house price increased by 8.9% over the year to April, according to the latest UK House Price Index published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This level of house price growth reflected a fall from 9.9% in March.

The ONS figures mean the average UK house price was £251,000 in April, a level £20,000 higher than in April 2020.

Commenting on the data, FJP Investment CEO, Jamie Johnson, highlighted: “While today’s ONS’s data reaffirms what most of us already knew, which is that house prices have risen significantly throughout the first half of the year, we have to remember that there is a time delay with this index.

“We are receiving insight into the state of the market in April, not right now. This is important because, as the stamp duty holiday approaches, we are really waiting to see if the house price growth continues, plateaus or falls across June, July and into summer.

“The rate of growth has slowed slightly according to ONS, and I expect this trend to continue once the initial stamp duty holiday deadline passes on 30 June.”

According to the index, the average house price in England increased by 8.9% over the year to April, down from 9.8% in the year to March 2021, to leave the average English house price at £268,000.

The average house price in Wales saw a 15.6% climb over the year to April, which was up from an increase of 10.2% in March, to leave the average house price in Wales now at a record level of £185,000.

In Scotland, the average house price increased by 6.3% over the year to April, down from an increase of 11.7% in the year to March, leaving the average Scottish house price sitting at £161,000. The ONS suggested this slowdown in house price growth in Scotland may have been driven by the end of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax holiday on 31 March 2021.

The ONS also revealed that Northern Ireland’s average house price increased by 6.0% over the year to Q1 2021. The index confirmed that Northern Ireland remains the cheapest UK country to purchase a property in, with the average house price at £149,000.

Trussle head of mortgages, Miles Robinson, commented: “Any savings from the stamp duty holiday might well be absorbed by the current high cost of homes. Also, because of the current level of demand, completing a purchase now takes up to 171 days in the UK and so many will likely miss out on stamp duty relief. Buyers should look beyond the headline savings and really consider if this is the right choice for them.

“As we approach the point where the stamp duty holiday will begin to taper off, it remains to be seen if the current high demand will continue beyond 30 June. It’s quite possible that we will see a slight readjustment in the market as the prospect of saving £15,000 ends and demand cools. Six months from now we may be looking at a very different outlook.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club director, Kevin Roberts, said that a greater level of housing supply is needed to to counteract the effects of house price inflation.

“Interest from Britons along with a significant level of demand from international buyers is together putting pressure on property price growth due to a lack of housing supply,” Roberts added.

“To ensure sustainable growth despite this backdrop of record demand, it is crucial that we maintain a suitable level of housing supply. That means focusing on creating more high-quality and environmentally friendly homes across the country and using the current housing stock wisely.

“Borrowers have been fortunate over recent years to benefit from record low mortgage rates but with international inflationary pressures potentially leading to a change in this area, keeping house prices under control will be key.”

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