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House prices up 6.5% since first lockdown

Written by: Samantha Partington
House prices have risen by 6.5% since the country went into its first national lockdown 12 months ago, according to the Halifax House Price Index.

Compared to the previous month, March house prices rose by 1.1%, the first monthly rise since November, taking the average UK property value to £254,606.

According to the index average house prices have risen by more than £15,000 during the 12 months of the pandemic, up from £239,176 in March 2020.

The pace of annual house price growth had gradually decreased for three consecutive months following a rise in November of 7.6%. However March marked a turning point, as annual house price growth picked up from 5.2% in February.

Surveyors are confident that house price growth will remain strong for the next three months, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors market report released yesterday as demand for new homes outpaces supply.

Halifax expects house price growth to slow towards the end of the year as the country grapples with the economic fall out of the pandemic.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “Following a relatively subdued start to the year, the housing market enjoyed something of a resurgence during March.

“Casting our minds back 12 months, few could have predicted quite how well the housing market would ride out the impact of the pandemic so far, let alone post growth of more than £1,000 per month on average.

“The continuation of government support measures has been key in boosting confidence in the housing market.

“The extended stamp duty holiday has put another spring in the step of home movers, while for those saving hard to buy their first home, the new mortgage guarantee scheme provides an alternative route onto the property ladder.

“Overall we expect elevated levels of activity to be maintained in the coming months, with consumer confidence spurred on by the successful vaccine rollout, and buyer demand still fuelled by a desire for larger properties and more outdoor space, as work-life priorities have shifted during the pandemic.”

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