London continues to see the lowest annual growth at 3.7% for the fourth month in a row
UK average house prices rose by 10.2% over the year to March 2021, up from 9.2% in February 2021; this is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since August 2007.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that average house prices rose over the year in England to £275,000 (10.2%), in Wales to £185,000 (11.0%), in Scotland to £167,000 (10.6%) and in Northern Ireland to £149,000 (6.0%).
London continues to see the lowest annual growth (3.7%) for the fourth consecutive month.
The second half of 2020 saw the UK’s average house price growth accelerating. This trend has continued into the beginning of 2021, reaching an annual growth rate of 10.2% in March 2021.
The ONS report notes that changes in the tax paid on housing transactions may have allowed sellers to request higher prices as the buyers’ overall costs are reduced.
Cloe Atkinson, managing director, Mortgage Engine, comments: A year ago, activity in the property market remained almost entirely suspended as the UK continued to endure its first lockdown. In contrast, 2021 has so far proved a stellar year for house price growth.
The busy start to this year reflects the success of various government measures to stimulate demand in the market, as well as the hard work carried out by the property industry to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and adapt to new ways of doing business. There has been an extraordinary amount of change in a relatively short time, Atkinson says.
The mortgage industry has adopted new technology at an unprecedented rate, increasing efficiency and unlocking new ways of working. As the UK cautiously moves to relax its pandemic restrictions, it’s vital that the property sector doesn’t leave behind the spirit of innovation that’s carried it through the last year. Now is the time for the industry to increase its investment in tech and continue to evolve to meet the challenges of the post-pandemic period.
Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, comments: We’re continuing to see house prices grow month-on-month, suggesting that the market remains buoyant and demand is high as a result of the stamp duty holiday.
He says: With this in mind, it’s important for buyers in the homebuying process to be aware that the increased demand has caused inflated prices. First-time buyers are now paying up to £73,000 more than last year to get on to the property ladder. This has also caused delays in completion times and it now takes up to 171 days to purchase a property in the UK.
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