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Greater Manchester and Merseyside both see 20% house price rises

House price growth rates continue to climb strongly in England and Wales with prices increasing by a whopping 20% in both Greater Manchester and Merseyside, according to the latest e.surv Acadata House Price Index.

House prices are up 13.4% on an annual basis with the average house price now standing at £343,658.

The lowest growth has been seen in London where 10 boroughs reported annual price falls.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “Overall, we can see the market continues to enjoy the effect of the government’s stamp duty holiday.

“Buyers are still striving to complete purchases in time to benefit from the maximum tax break ahead of the change in June to a tapered deadline.

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“Completion prices for transactions funded by both mortgages and cash grew by a startling 13.4% annually in May, and at a national level, prices in England and Wales rose on a monthly basis by some £1,800, or 0.5%.

“However, it is notable that the monthly price increases over the last three months are the lowest since June 2020, probably a reflection of the rapidly approaching end of the stamp duty holiday.

“Regionally, there has been continued price growth across Wales and all nine English regions. Prices performed particularly strongly in the North West which achieved its highest rate of annual house price growth,18.4%.

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“Growth in the North West is underpinned by activity in both Greater Manchester and Merseyside, where prices are increasing at a staggering annual rate of 20.9%. London and the South East have also seen growth, although at a lower level. It should be remembered that London property prices have already experienced a boom in the years following the global financial crisis, a rise not experienced by many other UK regions.

“Our property type data shows there has been a shift in the kind of homes that buyers are looking for.

“Working from home has encouraged interest in larger homes with gardens outside city centres.

“The demand for flats in central and inner areas of London and other cities has not been as strong as for other types of homes due to lifestyle changes and new working arrangements, alongside the absence of overseas buyers in prime central London due to COVIDrestrictions. The impact of the pandemic on flats has been amplified by the issues surrounding cladding for mortgage lenders.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Nationwide: House prices up 10.9% in year to May

Annual house price growth was up 10.9% in May, the highest level in nearly seven years, the latest Nationwide house price index has revealed. On a month-on-month basis house prices were up 1.8% in May, down from the 2.3% rise recorded in April.

The figures leave the average price of a home at a new record high of £242,832.

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Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Housing market activity is likely to remain fairly buoyant over the next six months as a result of the stamp duty extension and additional support for the labour market included in the Budget, especially given continued low borrowing costs, improving credit availability and with many people still motivated to move as a result of changing housing preferences in the wake of the pandemic, as highlighted above.

“With the stock of homes on the market constrained, there is scope for annual house price growth to accelerate further in the coming months, especially given the low base for comparison in early summer last year.

“Further ahead, the outlook for the market is far more uncertain.

“If unemployment rises sharply towards the end of the year as most analysts expect, there is scope for activity to slow, perhaps sharply, though even this could potentially be offset by ongoing shifts in housing preferences, if current trends are maintained.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said he expects prices to keep rising.

He said: “Although we may have been wondering if the glorious sunshine was ever going to arrive, the continued upwards trajectory of the property market comes as no real surprise. Buyers wanting more space, trying to take advantage of the extended stamp duty holiday and the lack of supply, are all pushing values upwards.

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“Lenders retain a strong appetite to lend with increased price competition leading to lower rates. Platform is launching the cheapest ever two-year fix this week, pegged at just 0.95%.

“Rates this low will continue to support the market, while the increased availability of low deposit mortgages will assist first-time buyers who are finding rising house prices increasingly difficult to deal with.’

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: ’These figures, though strong and coming on the back of last month’s fastest monthly rise since 2004, reflect market activity in the last few months when prices were turbo-charged by the extension of the stamp duty holiday, as well as continuing shortage of houses in particular, low mortgage rates and faster vaccine rollout.

“Looking forward, these factors aren’t likely to change anytime soon, even if demand cools a bit, which we are already starting to see. As a result, prices will soften but not correct and next month’s index is likely to show strong but more moderate growth.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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UK house prices hit new record high after growing at fastest rate in five years

UK house prices grew at the fastest pace in five years last month as the stamp duty holiday continued to buoy the market.

Average UK house prices in April reached a new record high of £258,204, an annual increase of 8.2 per cent and a monthly rise of 1.4 per cent.

Almost £20,000 has been added to the value of the average home since April last year, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

“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,” said Halifax managing director Russell Galley.

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“ 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.”

Boom in “full swing”

Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “The house price boom is still in full swing, as white line fever is pushing buyers into the market to take advantage of the recently extended stamp duty holiday.

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“Mortgage approvals have fallen back in recent months, which hints that some froth may be coming off the very top of the market. But we’re approaching the busy summer season, and there are plenty of tailwinds that will help to keep prices elevated moving forwards.

“The stamp duty holiday is gradually being tapered away by the end of September, but borrowing costs are still low, and the government continues to offer support in the form of Help to Buy and the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme. We also know that plenty of consumers have built up a war chest over the pandemic which can help them trade up the property market, perhaps to get some extra space for a home office.”

By Jessica Clark

Source: City AM

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UK house prices soared in February at the highest growth rate

UK house prices soared in February at the highest growth rate recorded in more than six years – but London lagged behind the rest of the country.

Average house prices across the UK increased 8.6 per cent in the year to February, up from eight per cent in January.

This is the highest house price growth recorded in the UK since October 2014.

The average UK house price was £250,000 this year, an increase of £20,000 compared to February last year, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

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London recorded the worst annual growth, as average UK house prices in the capital grew 4.6 per cent, down from 5.7 per cent in January.

However, the average house price in London remained the most expensive of any region, rising to £496,000.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The housing market continued to be buoyant in February, with annual growth picking up.

“The launch of the mortgage guarantee scheme backed by the government will provide a further boost for the market, enabling those with modest deposits to get on the housing ladder sooner rather than later.

“However, while a growing number of lenders are offering 95 per cent mortgages, with pricing hovering around the 4 per cent mark, it is a classic case of the ‘haves and have nots’ as pricing on lower loan-to-value mortgages continues to edge downwards.”

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Nicky Stevenson, managing director at estate agent chain Fine & Country, said the property market remains “in a parallel universe at odds with the wider reality everyone has been living”.

“It’s been a gloom-defying 12 months given that last March, when the first lockdown arrived, the market seized up, mortgage products were withdrawn and everyone held their breath,” she said.

“Fast forward a year and you no longer need to be a mystic or expert to predict what comes next and that’s precisely the point. Confidence is king and there’s plenty of it out there. That would have remained true even if the stamp duty holiday had ended. Now that it hasn’t, that’s just more fuel on the fire but it’s impact has been overstated all along.”

By Jessica Clark

Source: City AM

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House prices increased 7.5% in the year to January 2021

Average UK house prices increased by 7.5% in the year to January 2021, according to the latest House Price Index by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Prices rose by the greatest margin in Wales, increasing by 9.6% to £179,000, this was followed by England, where prices rose by 7.5% to £267,000.

Prices in Scotland increased by 6.9% to £164,000, and in Northern Ireland to £148,000, up 5.3%.

The North West was the English region, which saw the highest annual growth in average house prices up 12.0%.

In contrast, the West Midlands noted the lowest at 4.7%.

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Tahir Farooqui, chief executive of Canopy, said: “With a further increase to house prices comes an even bigger gap between hopeful first-time buyers and their new home.

“While the government is promoting a range of incentives such as 95% mortgages and a tapered end to the stamp duty holiday, it’s not addressing the true problem.

“House prices are too high and securing an affordable mortgage is a pipe-dream for many.

“One way to put to good use the £64,000 of rental payments that the average tenant spends before buying their first home, is rent tracking.

“This means each monthly payment builds up their credit score, ensuring they have better access to financial products when the time comes to secure a mortgage. A strong credit score is a foundation for financial freedom.”

Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, added: “The market is finally breathing a sigh of relief with today’s data showing strong house price growth, that will only continue to be fuelled by the Chancellor’s move to extend the stamp duty holiday.

“For the next few months, at least, buyers will be encouraged to continue their property search and make moves before June.

“There still remains an element of worry around what the second half of the year looks like as the property market, and society more broadly, returns to a level of normality after more than a year of lockdown.

“But pent up demand and a supply shortfall will work in the favour of sellers to buoy property prices.

“However, at the lower end of the market a level of reservation could move in. For a significant number the events of the past 12 months have left them in an ambiguous financial position.”

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Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle, said: “Despite a slight fall in house prices month-on-month from December 2020 to January 2021, it’s important to note that house prices are still significantly higher than the same period last year.

“Traditionally, the property market is quieter at the beginning of the year and it’s Spring that tends to spark a change in buyer momentum.

“However, buyer demand has remained strong throughout 2021.

“At Trussle we saw a 15% increase in mortgage applications in January and a 17% increase in February, when comparing the same periods year-on year.

“The recent Budget announcement confirming an extension to the stamp duty holiday, as well as a 95% mortgage guarantee scheme is likely to continue to boost buyer demand.

“This in turn could elevate house prices even further.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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The Budget stimulated an 80% rise in buyer demand

The recent Budget stimulated an 80% rise in buyer demand for property compared to the four-year average, according to Zoopla’s monthly House Price Index.

Despite this, the supply of new homes is down 13%, compared to the 2020 average.

Zoopla outlined that the volume of homes for sale is expected to recover as the COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to gather pace and the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown comes into effect.

From a national perspective, average home values are up 4.1% since the start of the first lockdown, amounting to £8,907 on the year or £750 per month.

While annual house price growth is down slightly from 4.4% last month, this marks the fourth consecutive month of house price growth over 4%.

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Regionally house price growth in the Midlands, North of England, Wales and Scotland are at an almost 10-year high, fuelled by the relative affordability in these markets.

At a city level, Liverpool and Manchester continue to show the strongest levels of annual house price growth, up 6.6% and 6.4% respectively.

Sales agreed are up 5.3% compared to the same period in 2020, and the average time to sell a property in the UK has fallen by nearly a week across the UK excluding London, down from 50 days in 2020 to 44 days.

In contrast, London is the only region in the UK where properties are taking longer to sell.

The North East and the North West have recorded the highest reduction in time to sell on a regional level, falling by 17 days and 12 days, respectively.

At the same time, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber are the fastest moving markets in the UK, with sales agreed on properties in an average of just 38 days from the point of listing.

The index also revealed that houses are selling three weeks faster than flats.

The lockdown-led ‘search for space’ means houses are taking an average of 42 days to go from the point of listing to sale agreed, this compares to 62 days for a flat.

Demand for three-bed homes rose by 30% in the week after the Budget, in relation, the average value of a house has risen by 4.9%.

Meanwhile, the average price of a flat has increased by 1.9% over the same timeframe.

An estimated 130,000 properties for sale in England will be stamp duty free for another six months following the Budget which will amount to £123m saved in tax.

Overall, Zoopla anticipates that more than half a million buyers this year will benefit from some level of stamp duty relief.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

David Ross, managing director of Hometrack, said: “The 95% LTV mortgage guarantee scheme and the stamp duty extension outlined in the Budget have led to a spike in buyer demand, which was up 24% in the days following the announcement.

“The stimulus provided by the mortgage guarantee scheme will likely promote a similar increase of uptake of higher equity loans from the knock-on in demand up the property chain.

“With time to complete standing at around four months, buyers in the North of England look set to benefit the most – with two-third of local stock under £250,000 in value, and therefore always exempt from stamp duty.

“While prospects for the wider housing market have improved on the back of the Budget, the post-lockdown path to the full reopening of the economy and unwinding of support measures will still have a big impact.

“Therefore, we still expect house price growth to moderate later in the year, but overall transactions look set to get an additional boost from the stamp duty measures.”

Nigel Purves, chief executive of Wayhome, added: “With a full year of lockdown behind us, there has been increased momentum in the housing market ahead of the busy Spring period.

“Indeed, house prices were up by 4.9% year on year and flats were also up by 1.9% over the same period.

“Over the coming months with offices, shops and restaurants set to reopen, we may witness some individuals turning back to connectivity and convenience, while others continue their ‘search for space.

“While the introduction of 95% loan-to-value mortgages may bring hope to those wanting to step foot on the ladder, affordability remains a serious problem.

“There are many households whose incomes still won’t meet the criteria for mortgage approval, despite their ability to consistently pay rent on the kind of homes they would like to buy.

“Going forward, the government needs to work with the property industry to better support alternative routes to help ‘reluctant renters’ achieve homeownership.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Average house prices up 8.7% in England and Wales

Average house prices increased by 8.7% across England and Wales in the year to January 2021, according to e.surv Chartered Surveyors’ House Price Index.

On a monthly basis, average house prices rose by 1.2% between between December 2020 and January 2021.

Overall, the average price of a house in England and Wales was £330,958 at the end of January.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “2020 proved an exceptional year in almost every way and many of the changes it ushered in won’t be easily swept aside.

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“Indeed, our data shows that the remarkable growth in property prices we saw in the second half of last year has continued into 2021.

“Rapid growth in the South West, East Midlands and the North West means that average property prices have started the year up close to 9% on January 2020.

“There are, as always, a number of factors at play, but we may well have moved beyond the release of the demand that was pent-up at the start of 2020 and into a new phase for the market.

“For many, the pandemic has proved very financially trying, but this hasn’t been universal. For some households, where people have kept their jobs and transitioned totally to home-working, the pandemic has provided an opportunity to cut spending and build their savings.

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“For these consumers in a more fortunate financial position, the combination of low mortgage rates and the stamp duty holiday have made entering (or often re-entering) the property market an attractive prospect.

“Many buyers have made the decision to make a move in the last year and the popularity of larger properties with more outdoor space has increased greatly, as buyers have reevaluated their current living situation.

“That activity in the property market has been able to continue at all over the last year, is due in a large part to the industry’s willingness to embrace technology and work innovatively.

“From remote valuations to virtual house viewings, the industry has shown that it is able to adapt and change to meet extraordinary circumstances – a positive sign for the future.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Landlords optimistic about 2021 house price growth

The majority (66%) of landlords expect house prices to rise in 2021 as the world starts to return to a new normal, research from Accommodation.co.uk has found.

Three quarters (76%) are still keen to seek urban opportunities over rural ones, despite reports of people leaving cities due to the pandemic.

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Aaron Short, founder and chief executive at Accommodation.co.uk, said: “We are always listening to our landlords and tenants to ensure our proposition remains current and reflects the needs of the market and this is why the National Landlord Index remains so important.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“Understanding how landlords perceive the market and what impact COVID and Brexit are having will determine the shape of the future lettings market.

“It is great to see landlords positive about the market this year and this certainly mirrors the growth we have seen.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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London’s Islington leads the way on house price growth

Prices in London’s Islington surged by 13.4% to £727,922 in 2020, making it fastest growing area in the UK, Thirlmere Deacon analysis of Halifax data has found.

A number of other areas in Greater London also recorded strong rises, like Croydon (10.9% to £397,538), Hounslow (9.1% to £523,659) and Romford (7.6% to £391,000).

Outside London the biggest mover was Leeds, which had the country’s second-fastest rise, a whopping 11.3% to an average price of £247,116.

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Stuart Williams, founder and chief executive of Thirlmere Deacon, said: “Over the past 24 months, the UK property market has endured changing economic and political climates and remains to be incredibly resilient.

2019 brought political uncertainty and Brexit lingered over the UK, after the decisive election result in December 2019 the property market began 2020, with relative optimism and the ‘Boris Bounce’ triggered activity.

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“As the pandemic took hold and the UK entered lockdown, the property market was effectively put on pause though a limited number of transactions completed and off plan purchases were agreed during this time.

“Upon reopening in mid-May the UK property market saw pent up demand unleashed which has driven price growth upwards – every region in the country recorded an increase in house prices in 2020.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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House prices have doubled over the past decade

Average house prices have increased by 51% over the past 10 years, according to e.surv’s Chartered Surveyors House Price Index.

On a monthly basis, house prices across England and Wales increased by 1.4% between November and December 2020.

Throughout 2020, house prices rose by 7.8% despite the added complications of COVID-19.

This is the highest annual increase since 2016, however the majority of growth took place in the last six months of the year as pent-up demand was released by more relaxed coronavirus restrictions.

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As a result, the average house price in England and Wales was £326,762 at the end of December.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “During 2020, large numbers of people across the UK were confined to their houses for long periods of time, as we battled the pandemic.

“Over the year many people were forced to adapt their homes to function as offices, schools and nurseries.

“This increased emphasis on where we live and where we spend so much of our lives undoubtedly helped focus many people’s minds on the property market.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“This increased focus was reflected in the types of property that were most sought after in 2020.

“Larger, typically more expensive, properties with more outdoor space became even more highly prized, which in turn increased the price of the average transaction.

“It’s important to remember that the pandemic which produced such an unusual year is very much still with us.

“Everyone involved in the property market must continue to operate in a responsible manner, making use of technology where possible to support the industry while putting safety first.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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