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Official: UK house prices rose 2.5% in year to August

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There's no doubt the housing market has been unseasonably strong over the summer, but should we expect a winter slowdown?
Official: UK house prices rose 2.5% in year to August

The average price of a property in the UK was £239,196 in August, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It said prices rose by 0.7% over the month and that the annual price change for a property in the UK was 2.5%.

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House price growth was strongest in England where prices increased by 2.8% in the year to August 2020.

Wales saw house prices increase 2.7% in the year to August 2020, while in Scotland prices rose by 0.6%.

Northern Ireland saw house prices increase by 3% over the year to Quarter 2 (April to June) 2020.

Regionally, the highest annual growth was in the East Midlands where average house prices grew by 3.6%. The North East saw the lowest growth, with prices up 0.2% in the year to August 2020.

David Westgate, group chief executive at Andrews Property Group, said: “It’s no surprise average annual house prices in August were up on July, as they will have been driven north by the post-lockdown surge in demand.

“As we enter the winter months we’re expecting to see a lot more activity from landlords and people who have decent equity in their homes as we transition to a buyers’ market. Cash rich buyers will sense an opportunity and act accordingly.

“First time buyers are facing a long and tough winter as lenders bed down and assess the likely economic fallout of Covid-19.”

Sales down

While prices are up, sales are down. HM Revenue & Customs reported that transactions decreased by 29.3% in England, 45.1% in Wales, 57.2% in Scotland and by 44.1% in Northern Ireland in the year to June 2020.

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