One housing market index suggests that average house prices in England and Wales have risen by 9.8 per cent in the past year - comfortably higher than other recent indices.
The latest e.surv Acadata House Price Index says the average price of a house in England and Wales now stands at £339,160 - up by 0.7 per cent in the past month, and running at the highest annual rate for over six years.
Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, comments: “It is a very clear statement about the resilience of the housing market and how well it has responded to the challenges of the pandemic and the fiscal remedies that have been administered in the last year. This level of sustained price growth underlines how well the property market continues to perform in comparison to other areas of the economy.
“To understand why this is happening, we need to look at a combination of monetary, fiscal, public health and political responses of recent times. Demand has been injected into a market of historically low-interest rates that have supported buyers’ affordability since 2008.
“Lockdowns have fuelled people’s willingness to make lifestyle and life-stage changes and the injection of fiscal support, in the form of the temporary stamp duty holiday, has further supported their ability and desire to move home. We now also have the return of higher Loan-To-Value lending which many believe will, in the coming months, offer more welcome support to the market."
London is widely perceived to have been the slowest of the regional markets across the UK during the pandemic, but e.surv suggests this may not last much longer.
Sexton states: “We should be cautious when it comes to London’s lower growth rate. The capital’s market is evolving but the weaker pound has stimulated activity in the more exclusive markets in London though this hasn’t made a notable impact on the index at this stage. London remains a safe haven for many international buyers and their families. The weak pound helped transactions in ultra-high-net-worth markets in the capital rise last year.”