Annual house price growth climbs to highest rate since 2007 – ONS

The average UK house price increased by 10.2% over the year to March, the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since August 2007.

According to the latest UK House Price Index from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), this figure was up from the 9.2% annual growth that was recorded in February.

The index revealed that average house prices increased over the year by 10.2% in England to £275,000, by 11.0% in Wales to £185,000, by 10.6% in Scotland to £167,000, and by 6.0% in Northern Ireland to £149,000.

London has continued to be the region with the lowest annual growth for the fourth consecutive month, with a rate of 3.7%.

Commenting on the data, Legal & General Mortgage Club director, Kevin Roberts, said: “We’ve seen some significant increases to house prices in recent months, with the government’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday helping stimulate some of this demand.

“When the holiday was introduced, the UK was facing a very uncertain economic outlook, but confidence has returned with the success of the vaccination programme and house price increases have been greater than expected, with many homebuyers re-evaluating their property requirements following lockdowns.

“While this helped existing homeowners and those purchasing high value properties, for those wanting to buy for the first time, the hot housing market we see currently could actually be making it more difficult to step onto the ladder.”

The ONS suggested that on top of the ongoing stamp duty holiday, the coronavirus pandemic may have also caused house buyers to reassess their housing preferences.

In the data, the ONS saw the average price of detached properties increase by 11.7% in the year to March, compared to flats and maisonettes which increased by 5.0% over the same period.

Trussle head of mortgages, Miles Robinson, added: “We’re continuing to see house prices grow month-on-month, suggesting that the market remains buoyant and demand is high as a result of the  stamp duty holiday.

“With this in mind, it’s important for buyers in the home buying process to be aware that the increased demand has caused inflated prices. First-time buyers are now paying up to £73,000 more than last year to get on to the property ladder. This has also caused delays in completion times and it now takes up to 171 days to purchase a property in the UK.”

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