Annual house price inflation is now at its strongest level in nearly seven years, says the Halifax House Price Index.
The average UK property price has reached £261,743, a new record high.
House prices have risen by 9.5 per cent over the past year, on a quarterly basis they are up 2.4 per cent, and month-on-month, prices have increased by 1.3 per cent.
All UK regions, bar the North East, saw an acceleration in year-on-year house price inflation last month. The strongest growth was in Wales, up 11.9 per cent annually, followed by the North West and Yorkshire & Humber, both of which recorded 10 per cent-plus growth.
As before it’s London and the south of England lagging behind. In Greater London, for example, average prices are only 3.1 per cent higher than a year ago and growing far less rapidly than the rest of the country.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, says: “Heading into the traditionally busy summer period, market activity continues to be boosted by the government’s stamp duty holiday, with prospective buyers racing to complete purchases in time to benefit from the maximum tax break ahead of June deadline, after which there will be a phased return to full rates.
“For some homebuyers, lockdown restrictions have also resulted in an unexpected build-up of savings, which can now be deployed to fund bigger deposits for bigger properties, potentially pushing property prices even higher.
“Whilst these effects will be temporary, the current strength in house prices also points to a deeper and long-lasting change as buyer preferences shift in anticipation of new, post-pandemic lifestyles – as greater demand for larger properties with more space might warrant an increased willingness to spend a higher proportion of income on housing.
“These trends, coupled with growing confidence in a more rapid recovery in economic activity if restrictions continue to be eased, are likely to support house prices for some time to come, particularly given the continued shortage of properties for sale.”