House prices jump by 1.4% in April – Halifax

House prices across the UK climbed by 1.4% in April compared to March, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

Halifax stated that house prices were 0.9% higher in the latest quarter, between February and April, compared to the preceding three months, between November and January.

The figures also showed that the average house price in the UK is now sitting at £258,204, with prices now 8.2% higher than they were in April 2020.

Halifax managing director, Russell Galley, highlighted that in cash terms, almost £20,000 has been added to the value of the average home since April lat year, when the market had “essentially come to a standstill”.

“The stamp duty holiday continues to add impetus to an extremely active market, magnifying the current shortage of available homes as buyers aim to take advantage of the government scheme,” Galley commented.

“The influence of the stamp duty holiday will fade gradually over the coming months as it’s tapered out but low stock levels, low interest rates and continued demand is likely to continue to underpin prices in the market.”

Halifax also indicated it is expecting recent levels of activity to be “sustained” over the short-term, as buyers continue to search for homes with more space, as well as homes better suited for new working patterns.

Galley added: “Savings built up over the months in lockdown have given some buyers even more cash to invest in their dream properties, while the new mortgage guarantee scheme may have eased deposit constraints for some prospective homebuyers who previously thought their first step on the housing ladder was a few years away.

“There is growing optimism in the long-term outlook of the UK economy as the vaccination programme continues at pace, yet we remain cautious about the medium-term prospects of the housing market.

“As we said in March, the current levels of uncertainty and potential for higher unemployment as furlough support ends leads us to believe that house price growth will slow to the end of the year.”

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