Monday 10 May 2021 8:37 am

UK house prices hit new record high after growing at fastest rate in five years

UK house prices grew at the fastest pace in five years last month as the stamp duty holiday continued to buoy the market. 

Average house prices in April reached a new record high of £258,204, an annual increase of 8.2 per cent and a monthly rise of 1.4 per cent.

Almost £20,000 has been added to the value of the average home since April last year, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

“The stamp duty holiday continues to add impetus to an extremely active market, magnifying the current shortage of available homes as buyers aim to take advantage of the Government scheme,” said Halifax managing director Russell Galley.

“ The influence of the stamp duty holiday will fade gradually over the coming months as it’s tapered out but low stock levels, low interest rates and continued demand is likely to continue to underpin prices in the market.”

Boom in “full swing”

Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “The house price boom is still in full swing, as white line fever is pushing buyers into the market to take advantage of the recently extended stamp duty holiday.

“Mortgage approvals have fallen back in recent months, which hints that some froth may be coming off the very top of the market. But we’re approaching the busy summer season, and there are plenty of tailwinds that will help to keep prices elevated moving forwards.

“The stamp duty holiday is gradually being tapered away by the end of September, but borrowing costs are still low, and the government continues to offer support in the form of Help to Buy and the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme. We also know that plenty of consumers have built up a war chest over the pandemic which can help them trade up the property market, perhaps to get some extra space for a home office.”