Property News

UK house prices continue to reach record high, Halifax House Price Index shows

Em Morley - May 11, 2021

Halifax has released its April 2021 House Price Index, showing that house prices were 8.2% higher than the year before. The average UK house price is now £258,204.

The report findings also show:

  • House prices were 1.4% higher in April 2021 than in March 2021
  • House prices were 0.9% higher in the latest quarter (February to April) than in the quarter before (November to January)
  • House prices were 8.2% higher than in April 2020

Property industry reactions to Halifax House Price Index

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “Rishi’s rabbit out of the hat in the form of a stamp duty holiday really has been magic where the revival of the UK property market is concerned. House prices are booming, driven by a surge of buyers keen to save while also taking advantage of the continued low rate of borrowing.

“The question is, of course, whether this clever trick will help rejuvenate the market in the long term, once the curtain finally falls on Mr Sunak’s tax reprieve”

Ged McPartlin, Managing Director of Ascend Properties, comments: “Yet more mammoth rates of house price growth as the market continues to run red hot in the wake of the stamp duty holiday extension. While this has certainly been the touchpaper, we’re now seeing a number of other contributing factors helping to boost market activity. 

“The lifting of lockdown restrictions and the vaccine rollout has further buoyed market sentiment, causing more buyers and sellers to enter the fray with confidence. As we enter the busiest time of year for property sales, expect more of the same as transacting remains very much on the agenda for the UK.”

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “The UK property market is currently set to warp speed, make no mistake about it. We’re not just seeing a market recovering from last year’s pandemic paralysis, these current rates of house price growth are exceptional against any backdrop. 

“With the fuel tank full to the brim, it’s likely that any natural correction to this explosive rate of growth will come many, many months after the stamp duty holiday deadline and the likelihood is, this current rate of growth will remain throughout 2021.”

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “Yet further record rates of house price growth might seem like good news on the face of it, but this is far from the case. The UK property market is currently buckling under the pressure of yet another Government initiative to artificially fuel demand, without as much as a thought as to addressing supply.

“Not only this, but many sales are hanging in the balance due to a considerable market backlog which has added further uncertainty to an already archaic and unpredictable transaction process. 

“These aren’t the foundations of a strong and stable housing market and come the end of the stamp duty holiday, we can expect the gloss to come off quickly revealing what is likely to be a considerable mess.”

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at independent estate agents James Pendleton, comments: “This market isn’t standing still for a second. The feeding frenzy for property was already feeling pretty ferocious but then along comes another big leap in the annual rate of growth. The new record high also leaves clear water behind it and the previous peak. 

“In a blazing hot seller’s market like this, most buyers don’t even compare prices locally to make their offer, they work out what can afford and they go for it. Timing is crucial and not wasting time is essential.

“At times like this, personality counts too. If a seller knows they’re going to get the price they need, then striking up a rapport with a vendor can really pay dividends. 

“First-time buyers are unfortunately seeing the market run away from them but, in their price bracket, the significant amount of accidental savings many will have accumulated over the past year will count for as much as the stamp duty relief, which has already been swallowed up by price increases since last summer.” 

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, comments: “The air is thin up here and, even though all buyers know in their hearts that things will calm down and growth will slow later this year, they are still frantically bidding up prices. Buyers need to be incredibly determined to succeed in a market like this. 

“Growth over 8% on an annual basis is always a massive vote of confidence in the country, its economy, its ability to create and protect jobs and its housing market. 

“Incredibly, the stage is set for this rally to continue and the market may be about to get its own vaccine bounce, like the one delivered to Boris Johnson this week. That broader optimism is still being complemented by improving weather, the imminent loosening of Covid restrictions, low interest rates, a yearning for more space and the fact that many homeowners have saved thousands of pounds not being able to go anywhere. 

“This won’t be the last record high we’ll see this year by a long stretch, and the figures next month will start to compare more impressively with the lull in growth caused by the first lockdown.”