The UK housing market continues to strengthen as house prices have risen both monthly and yearly across August, according to the latest figures from Nationwide.
As documented in the mortgage lender’s latest house pricing index, annual house price growth in the UK has picked up to 3.7 per cent, with the average house now costing £224,123 (up from £216,096 in August 2019). Prices have also seen their biggest month-on-month rise since February 2004, with growth accelerating by 2 per cent compared to July 2020. *
Acceleration in August
Following the rise in house prices in July, the UK housing market is continuing its road to recovery with the latest findings from Nationwide’s report. With a fall in prices during the lockdown period across May and June, the ‘unexpectedly rapid’ rebound of house prices over the past two months signals reason for positivity.
According to the house pricing index, the pent-up demand from buyers has been caused by behavioural shifts from homeowners as they reassess their requirements as a result of life in lockdown.
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “House prices have now reversed the losses recorded in May and June and are at a new all-time high. The bounce back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions.”
A good time to buy your new home
With the market becoming more active as the UK moves further out of lockdown restrictions, now is the perfect time for buyers to find their property thanks to the introduction and extension of key initiatives.
Announced in July, the chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a ‘stamp duty holiday’ in England, meaning homebuyers don’t have to pay rates on properties valued up to £500,000, and Scotland also brought in a reduction to LBTT rates. Both of these legislation changes are aimed at boosting activity on the market through reducing potential buyer costs.
Alongside the rates reduction, there has also been an extension to the Help to Buy scheme in England to enable more buyers to complete on purchases ahead of the deadline in 2021. Nationwide’s Robert Gardner said of the initiatives: “These (increasing) trends look set to continue in the near term, further boosted by the recently announced stamp duty holiday, which will serve to bring some activity forward.”