House prices rise 4.7% in September
House prices rose 4.7% in the year to September, pushing up the UK average to a record high of £245,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The boom in house buying activity continues to accelerate the rate of price growth. The August ONS house price index recorded an annual increase of 3%.
Month-on-month, prices in the UK have increased 1.7%, compared to a 0.1% rise over the same period last year.
Average house prices in England now stand at £262,000, in Wales £171,000, Scotland £162,000 and in Northern Ireland £143,000.
Londoners can now expect to pay on average £496,000 to buy a home.
The September index reflects agreements made between buyers and sellers around six to eight weeks ago, coinciding with the announcement that stamp duty on the first £500,000 of a property purchase in England and Northern Ireland would be wiped out until 31 March. In Scotland and Wales that threshold is £250,000.
Pent-up demand and a desire to move to larger homes with outside space are also factors driving up house prices.
According to the ONS, the average price of detached properties has increased by 6.2% in the year to September, in comparison to flats and maisonettes which rose in value by 2% over the same period.
Karen Noye, mortgage and protection adviser at Quilter Financial Planning, said: “The latest house price data once again seems to be out of kilter with what is going on around us and really illustrates the stamp duty holiday’s artificial boost to the housing market.
“Despite these positive figures, the nation is seeing unemployment levels skyrocket and huge swathes of the population being forced to use the government’s furlough scheme, which begs the question of whether something has got to give in the future.
“To put this new data into perspective, during the same period last year there was a rise of just 0.1%, really highlighting how significant the stamp duty holiday has been.”