Friday 30 April 2021 8:25 am

UK house prices grow at fastest pace in more than 15 years in April

UK house prices grew at the fastest pace in more than 15 years this month, according to the latest research. 

The average house price was up 2.1 per cent month-on-month, the biggest monthly rise since February 2014. 

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Annual house price growth rebounded to 7.1 per cent in April compared to 5.7 per cent in March, pushing property values to a new record high of £238,831.

House prices have jumped by £15,916 over the past 12 months, according to the latest Nationwide data. 

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said: “Just as expectations of the end of the stamp duty holiday led to a slowdown in house price growth in March, so the extension of the stamp duty holiday in the Budget prompted a reacceleration in April.

“However, 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.”

“Frenzy territory”

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at estate agents James Pendleton, said: “This market is on the boil. Rarely does a new record high leave such clear water between it and the previous peak. Last month’s average house price of just over £232,000 was itself a record and April’s new high of nearly £239,000 tells you just how buoyant things are at the moment. That’s a staggering jump of more than £6,000.

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“In London, the market is starting to enter frenzy territory. We haven’t seen this much anxiety in buyers’ eyes for years. They’re losing out left and right to cash buyers bidding over asking price. Pictures this month of people camping outside an estate agent overnight sums up the general picture.

“Prices have run away and vendors feel they’re now able to test the water with valuations that would have seemed unthinkable a year ago. 

Buoyant market “to continue”

Jason Tebb, chief executive of property portal On The Market, said: “We would certainly anticipate that the current buoyant market is likely to continue throughout the summer and there is an optimism that, with lockdown measures now beginning to ease, those who were previously concerned about listing their property for sale and accommodating viewings are now more confident, given the huge success of the Covid vaccination programme.

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“We are seeing the first signs of an increase in new instructions since the beginning of the year, with our agents in many areas reporting that older homeowners, who may potentially be seeking to cash in on the opportunity to sell a larger family home and downsize, are now feeling comfortable enough to start the sales process. 

“It’s these larger homes that are key to getting the market moving again, as if there are more of these available to tempt second and third steppers to move, then this creates more homes available for sale further down the property ladder.”