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House prices rose 8.6% over the last year

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It marks the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since October 2014, as the market has been boosted by the stamp duty holiday
House prices rose 8.6% over the last year

UK average house prices increased by 8.6% over the year to February 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since October 2014.

The average UK house price was £250,000 in February 2021 – £20,000 higher than in February 2020.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.5% between January and February 2021, following an increase of 0.8% in the previous month.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £268,000 (8.7%), in Wales to £180,000 (8.4%), in Scotland to £162,000 (8.0%) and in Northern Ireland to £148,000 (5.3%).

Regional split

The North West was the English region to see the highest annual growth in average house prices (11.9%), while London saw the lowest (4.6%).

However, the capital’s average house prices remain the most expensive of any region in the UK at an average of £496,000 in February 2021.

The North East continued to have the lowest average house price, at £138,000.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “This latest data is yet more evidence of how the Stamp Duty holiday has turbocharged the property market. Even when the Stamp Duty holiday finally comes to an end, we expect the mortgage guarantee scheme to continue to support demand among first-time buyers, which will ripple up through the market and maintain a certain level of transactions.”

Martin Stewart, director of mortgage broker, London Money, added: “The property market has cocked a gigantic snook at economic reality during the pandemic. The new mortgage guarantee scheme launched this week is likely to keep house prices artificially high in the short term, although there is potentially a lot of turbulence ahead. Once the Stamp Duty holiday and furlough scheme have ended, sentiment could turn very quickly and house prices could come under pressure.”

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