ONS: House prices rise by 2.5% in August

Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2020

House prices increased by 2.5% to £239,196 in the year to August, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry.

Month on month, prices rose by 0.7%, the official house price index shows.

The strongest annual house price growth was in England where prices climbed by 2.8% to £256,109, followed by Wales where there was a 2.7% rise to £172,828.

In Scotland prices ticked upwards by 0.6% to £155,191.

Northern Ireland is on a different reporting schedule to the other countries and so the latest available figures are for Q2, which show a 3% to £141,131/

The highest annual growth within the English regions was in the East Midlands where average house prices grew by 3.6% to £202,345.

The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where prices increased by 0.2% to £131,701.

MT Finance director Tomer Aboody says: “The housing market had so many negatives to contend with this time last year, including the Brexit debacle and government limbo, which help make this year’s figures look very strong.

“Now we have the added stimulus of the stamp duty holiday, plus lower interest rates and the Bank of England encouraging lenders to lend, which has positively impacted prices and sales volumes.

“But the caveat and interesting fact is that prices and volumes are strong when it comes to houses but not so for flats, especially new builds, where there has been a decline in both volume and prices.

“This confirms the trend created by lockdown with more people looking for increased space, gardens and local village environments, where they can work from home, shop locally and travel into London with good rail access.

“All this will probably impact on how new-build blocks are designed in future, with more green spaces needed and possibly shops within the developments.

“There is an argument for fewer units and more outside space.

“The decline in popularity of new builds has also been affected by fewer foreign buyers purchasing or travelling into the UK, a trend which will continue in the short term at least.

“Overall, the government will be expected to, and has already indicated that it will, support the market further with higher loan-to-values for first-time buyers trying to get onto the ladder.”

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