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UK house prices rose before coronavirus lockdown

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20/05/2020
The average house price in the UK increased in March before Britain went into lockdown and the housing market ground to a halt.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show house prices rose 2.1 per cent, up from 2 per cent in February.

The average price of a house in the UK in March was £231,855.

Regional differences 

Northern Ireland saw the biggest jump in house prices, recording an increase of 3.8 per cent to £140,580. 

This was followed by England, where average prices saw an annual increase of 2.2 per cent to £248,271 in March. 

In Wales, house prices rose by 1.1 per cent to £161,684 annually

Prices increased 1.5 per cent annually to £151,856 in Scotland. 

Signs of positivity 

The housing market came to a standstill when the UK went into lockdown on 23 March. However, the government lifted some restrictions last week, allowing estate agents, conveyancers and removal firms to re-open.

Buyers and renters are now also able to complete purchases and view properties in person.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “With the government allowing the market to re-open, enabling agents and valuers to access properties once more, this has resulted in most lenders returning with mortgage offerings similar to those on offer pre-lockdown.

“Hopefully, this will gain traction going forward, which along with government stimulus and assistance should see a steadier level of activity in the market in the final half of the year,” Aboody added. 

Marc von Grundherr, director of London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, said: “The strong growth seen at the start of the year and annually has provided a strong foundation on which the market can bounce back and fears of a market crash should now move to the back of our minds.” 

 

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