UK house prices have hit a record high as the average property has topped £270,000 for the first time.
This is according to the latest Halifax House Price Index report out today, which shows the average UK property price has now reached £270,027.
The report also showed that annual house price inflation was 8.1%, up from 7.4%, and that Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland continued to outperform the UK average.
The Halifax figures come just two days after Nationwide reported that the typical UK home had topped a quarter of million pounds for the first time ever. Nationwide put the average price of a property in the UK as £250,311.
The figure from the Halifax is higher but clearly follows the same trend. Commenting on the latest figures, Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “One of the key drivers of activity in the housing market over the past 18 months has been the race for space, with buyers seeking larger properties, often further from urban centres.
“Combined with temporary measures such as the cut to stamp duty, this has helped push the average property price up to an all-time high of £270,027.”
Since April 2020, the first full month of lockdown, the value of the average property has soared by £31,516 (13.2%).
“First-time buyers, supported by parental deposits, improved mortgage access and low borrowing costs, have also helped to drive price growth in recent months,” Galley said.
“More generally, the performance of the economy continues to provide a benign backdrop to housing market activity. The labour market has outperformed expectations through to the end of furlough, with the number of vacancies high and rising relative to the numbers of unemployed.”
Price slowdown ahead?
Galley echoed the point made by Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist on Wednesday – that the market could see a slowdown.
“With the Bank of England expected to react to building inflation risks by raising rates as soon as next month, and further such rises predicted over the next 12 months, we do expect house-buying demand to cool in the months ahead as borrowing costs increase,” he commented.
“That said, borrowing costs will still be low by historical standards, and raising a deposit is likely to remain the primary obstacle for many. The impact on property prices may also be tempered by the continued limited supply of properties available on the market.”