House price growth hits 10% in May: UK HPI

Essex Home Finance
UK average house prices increased by 10.0% over the year to May, up from 9.6% in April 2021.
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UK average house prices increased by 10.0% over the year to May, up from 9.6% in April 2021, according to the latest UK House Price Index from the ONS and the Land Registry.

Prices saw a slight monthly increase (0.9%) in the month to May to £255,000, nearly returning to the record UK average house price seen in March 2021 (£256,000).

Average house prices increased over the year by 9.7% in England, 13.3% in Wales, 12.1% in Scotland, and 6.0% in Northern Ireland.

The North West was the region with the highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 15.2%, up from 13.8% in April.

London continues to be the region with the lowest annual growth (5.2%) for the sixth consecutive month.

Tomer Aboody, director of MT Finance, commented: “Despite a dip in price growth in April, the housing market got back on track in May, continuing on its upwards trajectory. Buyer confidence certainly remains high, not only in terms of the desire to move but also in respect of getting the necessary finance approved, and this is helping push up prices.

“With so many mortgage products out there, buyers have the opportunity to get onto the property ladder, or move up it, at record low rates. If you have to stretch yourself to get a bigger mortgage to purchase the property you have set your heart on, low mortgage rates make this a much more palatable proposition.

“Stamp duty holiday or not, prime properties with good outdoor space, including room to work from home and not too far from the station or the office to make commuting possible where necessary, will always be in demand with multiple buyers willing, and able, to pay.”

Anna Clare Harper, CEO of property consultancy SPI Capital, added: “Other data sets are faster, but the UK HPI is, in many ways, more important as it represents the whole of the market.

“10% house-price growth in the year to May 2021, led by the North West at 15.2%, is unsurprising in the context of the temporary stamp duty reduction, low interest rates, a flight to safer investments and the natural urge to upsize in the context of lockdown. All of these factors and more have driven demand. At the same time, supply is restricted: new houses aren’t being built fast enough or cheap enough for everyone to be satisfied.

“This rise in house prices is nothing new as a trend: for many years, house prices have risen faster than most people’s wages, because borrowing is cheap and easy. This makes ‘affordable home ownership’ for younger and less well-off people a work of fiction.

“This is not necessarily a bad thing. While ‘Boomers’ still see home ownership as a reflection and determinant of success, younger people don’t all want or need to ‘get on the property ladder’. A higher concern is having access to quality, affordable rental housing.

“The trouble is, many landlords are exiting the market, tired out by the challenges of the role. Overall, it’s a great time for investors who are serious about delivering social value as well as making returns by providing good quality, well-managed housing for their customers at a professional scale. It is also a great time for policy makers to consider what measures will facilitate affordable rental housing for all – not just new build, prime high rise flats, but family homes – both new and existing.”

Original Article Financial Reporter 14/07/21

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