The average house price in the UK grew to £258,204 in April, the latest index from Halifax shows.
This is a 1.4% change on the average price in March and an annual change of 8.2%.
It also makes for the highest annual growth rate in five years and, Halifax managing director Russell Galley says, equates to almost £20,000 being added to the average price since April 2020.
He says that government intervention has magnified the short of supply and that this influence will “fade gradually over the coming months.
“However,” he adds, “we do expect recent levels of activity to be sustained over the short-term as buyers continue to search for homes with more space and potentially better suited for their new working patterns.
“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.”
Altura Mortgage Finance managing director Rob Gill believes: “As prices accelerate, it’s certainly tempting to forecast it will all end in tears. However, history suggests that low interest rates, government support and an improving economy are classic ingredients for house prices to carry on rising rather than crash.”
And Chestertons chief executive Guy Gittens points out that, “As travel restrictions start to lift over the next couple of months and the world starts opening up again, we are likely to witness more international buyers and investors returning to the market. This could increase competition for available properties and put pressure on prices.”
Coreco managing director Andrew Montlake takes a more cautious stance. He says: “We’re not expecting a material fall in prices in the short- to medium-term, as supply is so low and money cheap, but a minor correction may be on the cards.”