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UK house prices hit record high level

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Property prices rose by 6.5 per cent in the last year, taking the average house price to £254,606
UK house prices hit record high level

The housing market picked up momentum in March, with prices up 1 per cent, said Halifax.

The rise has taken the average UK property price to a record high of £254,606.

House prices in March were 6.5 per cent higher than a year earlier – or £15,430 in cash terms.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Casting our minds back 12 months, few could have predicted quite how well the housing market would ride out the impact of the pandemic so far, let alone post growth of more than £1,000 per month on average.

“Overall we expect elevated levels of activity to be maintained in the coming months, with consumer confidence spurred on by the successful vaccine rollout, and buyer demand still fuelled by a desire for larger properties and more outdoor space, as work-life priorities have shifted during the pandemic. A shortage of homes for sale will also support prices in the short term, as lower availability always favours sellers.”

Rhys Schofield, managing director of Belper-based Peak Mortgages & Protection, added: “Right now, there is a huge bottleneck in the property market, with large numbers of prospective buyers and not enough new stock, and this is really driving up house prices.

“The sheer volume of prospective buyers is partly due to the return of first time buyers, as securing a higher loan-to-value mortgage has got a lot easier over the past month or two. With the Stamp Duty cliff edge looming, the lack of stock may be because next time buyers have less of an incentive to move, which frees up starter homes.

“House builders also shifted the vast majority of their stock at the end of last year and have limited units available within the next six months. We’ve even had a client reserve a property through one of the bigger national housebuilders, which won’t actually be built until early 2022.”

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