Wednesday 7 July 2021 7:28 am

House prices fall for the first time this year as stamp duty holiday winds down

The price of the average UK property fell last month for the first time this year, as the end of the most generous stamp duty holiday loomed.

House prices fell 0.5 per cent in June, down £1,284 to an average price of £260,358, according to figures from Halifax.

The new figures mean annual house price inflation has dipped slightly to 8.8 per cent, compared to 9.6 per cent in May.

In Greater London, house price inflation is just 2.9 per cent year-on-year, marking the slowest price gains in the country.

After a white-hot 12 months for the property market, house prices still stand at more than £21,000 higher than this time last year, following an unprecedented period of gains.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said it was predicted that the market could lose some steam entering the latter half of the year, with the most generous stamp duty holiday having now ended.

The stamp duty holiday on properties worth up to £500,000 ended a week ago, and in the final weeks of June the tapering off prompting chaos in all areas of the buying and selling process as buyers rushed to get completions over the line before the deadline.  

Now, with the new tapering approach, buyers will pay no stamp duty on properties worth up to £250,000 until the end of September, but with the average property now worth £10,000 more than that, typical consumers will have to pay around £500 in land tax should they decide to buy between now and the new deadline.

June ‘a mad dash’

Graham Taylor, managing director of Nailsworth-based independent mortgage broker Hudson Rose, said: “June was a mad dash to get deals over the line rather than a heavy influx of new applicants.

“While buoyant, it was by no means April or May. Mortgage rates remain ridiculously low and we have also seen lender criteria relax in some areas, which has made it easier for some borrowers to access funds.

Shaw Financial Services founder Lewis Shaw added: “June was overshadowed by endless fuss about the first phase of the stamp duty holiday coming to an end. I for one am glad it’s over.

“Now that we have the second level of the stamp duty holiday with the nil rate band up to £250,000 until 30th September, I’m expecting things to get a bit more back to normal.

“The market is experiencing an acute housing stock drought and with thousands of first-time buyers feeling incredibly thirsty, there’s simply too much demand and not enough supply for the market to pop.”