UK housing market boom

The UK property market continues to perform strongly, with new figures reporting the best monthly growth in prices in 17 years.

The latest Nationwide House Price Index has reported annual house price growth up 7.1% in April, up from 5.7% a month earlier.

Average house prices have risen to £238,831, up 2.1% compared to last month and adding £15,916 to the average home’s value in the past year.

These new figures cover a period when Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the deadline for his stamp duty holiday and introduced new low-deposit mortgage deals backed by government guarantees.

Changing property preferences following the pandemic also appears to drive continued house price growth, as people look for more indoor and outdoor space and want to live in more rural areas.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said:

“Our research suggests that while the stamp duty holiday is impacting the timing of housing transactions, for most people it is not the key motivating factor prompting them to move in the first place.”

These figures from Nationwide support wider housing market trends, with the latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics showing record highs for house prices and transaction volumes.

ONS reported an 8.6% growth in house prices for the year to February, the fastest growth rate since October 2014.

According to these official figures, the average house price was £250,000 in February 2021, up £20,000 in a year.

Looking to the future, Nationwide is warning of a more uncertain outlook for the UK housing market, with Robert Gardner saying:

“If unemployment rises sharply towards the end of the year as most analysts expect, there is scope for activity to slow, perhaps sharply.”