Tuesday 1 June 2021 9:09 am

Annual house price growth hits highest level for seven years in May

Annual house price growth rose to 10.9 per cent in May, the highest level in nearly seven years.

Prices shot up 1.8 per cent month-on-month, following a 2.3 per cent rise in April, according to new Nationwide data.

The new record average house price is £243k, up by almost £24k over the past twelve months.

Fastest growth since financial crisis

“The market is hitting peak exuberance now as we enter summer,” property expert Lucy Pendleton said.

“In fact, it has hit a rate of growth not seen since the UK market roared back to life from the doldrums created by the global financial crisis.”

A year ago, activity collapsed in the wake of the first lockdown with housing transactions falling to a record low of 42k in April 2020.

However, activity surged towards the end of last year and into 2021, reaching a record high of 183k in March.

‘Complete turnaround’ for property market

The market has seen a “complete turnaround” over the past year, according to Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.

Gardner said that while the spike in transactions has been driven by the extension to the stamp duty holiday, it is not the key factor in the momentum.

“Amongst homeowners surveyed at the end of April that were either moving home or considering a move, more than two thirds said this would have been the case even if the stamp duty holiday had not been extended.

“It is shifting housing preferences which is continuing to drive activity, with people reassessing their needs in the wake of the pandemic.”