UK House Prices Hit All-Time High

A July “mini-boom” could portend a revived housing market as lockdown measures ease.

According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, the average price of a UK home rose as high as £241,604 last month. July’s figure represents an increase of 1.6% from June, and an increase of 3.8% year-on-year.

The new figures – which represent the highest house prices ever recorded by the Index in its 37-year history – also support the recent findings of the Nationwide Building Society, which saw house prices climb by 1.7% during July.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley hailed the results as a positive sign for the housing market. “Following four months of decline, average house prices in July experienced their greatest month on month increase this year, up 1.6% from June and comfortably offsetting losses in 2020,” he said. “The latest data adds to the emerging view that the market is experiencing a surprising spike post lockdown.

Galley attributed this price spike to pent-up demand from months spent under lockdown suddenly being released into the market, coupled with an ongoing lack of available houses to meet the surge in demand.

However, Galley also emphasised that the uncertainty regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s response would continue to play a role in the sector: “As government support measures come to an end, the resulting impact on the macroeconomic environment, and in turn the housing market, will start to become more apparent.”

Anna Clare Harper, the author of Strategic Property Review, echoed Galley’s opinion. “What we can’t forecast is what happens next: economically, and in policy. What we can predict accurately is that these two factors will prove fundamental to the future of the UK housing market,” she said.

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