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House price growth slowed in April but market remains ‘red hot’

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

The pace of growth may have fallen back slightly, but house prices are still £20,000 higher than a year ago

UK average house prices increased by 8.9% over the year to April 2021, down from 9.9% in March 2021, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The average UK house price was £251,000 in April 2021, £20,000 higher than in April 2020.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £268,000 (8.9%), in Wales to £185,000 (15.6%), in Scotland to £161,000 (6.3%) and in Northern Ireland to £149,000 (6.0%).

London continues to be the region with the lowest annual growth (3.3%) for the fifth consecutive month.

The North East was the region with the highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 16.9% in the year to April 2021.

Lewis Shaw, founder of Mansfield-based Shaw Financial Services, said: “During April, the property market was on fire and it’s been red hot since. It’s a sellers’ market on steroids, with bidding wars occurring regularly and houses selling for over the asking price.

“The Stamp Duty holiday has been a key driver, of course, but so is the new homeworking culture that is seeing people exit major urban hubs. News that restrictions aren’t going to be relaxed until 19th July will have little, if any, impact on activity levels. If you’re considering moving home, there’s never been a better time to do it.”

Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, added: “The influence of the Stamp Duty cut may be subsiding, but thousands of would-be property buyers continue to ask themselves the question ‘if not now, when?’

“The desire for more space is being compounded by the fear that house prices could soon rise out of reach. With interest rates still at rock-bottom levels – for now – many people have decided that the time to strike has come.

“As a result buyer demand continues to outstrip the supply of homes for sale in many areas, and this is pushing up prices as buyers compete for the most desirable properties.”