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Boom goes on as transactions and prices soar

The average UK house price has risen 8.6 per cent - that’s typically £20,000 - in the past year.

This is the highest annual rate since 2014 according to the Office for National Statistics.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £268,000 (up 8.7 per cent), in Wales to £180,000 (8.4 per cent), in Scotland to £162,000 (8.0 per cent) and in Northern Ireland to £148,000 (5.3 per cent).

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The North West was the English region with the highest annual growth in average house prices (11.9 per cent) while London recorded the lowest (4.6 per cent).

The figures were released by the ONS just as HM Revenue and Customs reports house sales in March 2021 at more than double the number of March 2020.

HMRC says an estimated 190,980 sales took place in March 2021, marking a 102.3 per cent increase in transactions compared with 94,380 transactions in March 2020 and around a third (32.2 per cent) higher than in February 2021.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson Stops, says: “We haven’t seen growth like this for more than six years and there’s no sign of it slowing yet. Our branch data reveals a 53 per cent increase in new applicants on the month in March as the market ramps up for its typically busy period over the spring and summer.”

And Jeremy Leaf, former RICS residential chairman and a London agency owner, adds: “Despite strong growth in house prices already, we are confident that there is enough demand to ensure there will not be a price correction, despite the tapering of the stamp duty holiday from the end of June. 

“Our view is reinforced by the rollout of the vaccine and easing of lockdown restrictions which is boosting confidence in the economy and easing fears of a spike in unemployment when the furlough scheme is due to close on September 30.”

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