Official: UK property prices rose 1.1% in year to February
Average house prices increased by 1.1% over the year to February 2020, according to the UK’s official house price index from the Office for National Statistics.
But the overall average figure masks wide national differences.
Average house prices increased over the year in England by just 0.8% to £246,000, compared to 3.4% in Wales to £164,000.
In Scotland prices rose by 2.5% to £151,000 and in Northern Ireland by 2.5% to £140,000.
The East of England was the only region in the UK to have seen a fall in house prices – of 1% – over the year to February.
The ONS House Price Index is based on sales that were completed before the UK went into lockdown and, of course, the housing market has since changed dramatically.
David Westgate, group chief executive at Andrews Property Group, said: “The performance of the property market in February, pre-lockdown, is frankly irrelevant given the events of the past two months.
“We went from a mini-boom after the General Election, which saw people making property-related decisions they had put off for three years, to the biggest black swan event in this country’s history.
“The property market, like much of the economy, has been frozen in time in an effort to limit the spread of Covid-19.
“When the property market is switched back on by the Government, and it is likely to be included in the first wave, the initial focus will be to complete on the hundreds of thousands of transactions that have been put on ice.
“The hope is that the Government’s unprecedented action to support the economy, coupled with interest rates being cut to a record low, will cushion the property market against the full impact of the lockdown. If it manages that, we could even see a surge in pent-up demand as people returning to their jobs are finally free to get on with their lives.”