The average UK home sold for more than £250,000 last month, marking the first time the average has crested a quarter of a million pounds.
New data was released in Halifax’s latest House Price Index, a leading authority that gauges the state of the UK property market, showing that prices rose 7.5% higher in October than their average during the same period in 2019 – reaching as high as £250,547. The increase also marks the highest rate of annual growth since the middle of 2016.
The increase follows a surge in house prices in September, with a combination of the stamp duty holiday and a pent up demand from the initial lockdown period pushing the price of the average UK home up to £249,879.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley credited the continuing effects of the pandemic for creating “clear headwinds” for the UK property market. He added that stamp duty cuts and rising interest in moving “supercharged” demand and pushed prices higher.
“Overall we saw a broad continuation of recent trends with the market still predominantly being driven by home-mover demand for larger houses,” Galley said, adding: “The country’s struggle with COVID-19 is far from over.”
While Halifax’s new index showed year-on-year growth to be strong, the rate of monthly price gains appeared to be slowing sharply. Prices rose by 0.3% between September and October, a notable decrease from the 1.5% rise seen a month earlier and 1.7% in the previous two months.
Halifax warned that economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, likely to arrive in early 2021, would put “downward pressure” on home prices.