UK House Prices Rose By 7.1% Compared With a Year Ago
As per Nationwide, increased savings during lockdown meant some first-time buyers would be better placed to afford a home. But prices could continue to rise as homes available did not match demand. The Nationwide said that prices rose sharply in April, up by 2.1% compared with March. Year-on-year price growth accelerated as well, driven in part by the extension in stamp duty holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The pandemic has led some people to reassess their domestic set-up, with demand for more space coming to the fore.
“Our research suggests that while the stamp duty holiday is impacting the timing of housing transactions, for most people it is not the key motivating factor prompting them to move in the first place,” said Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner.
The state of the market saw some people queuing overnight outside an estate agent in Wales as homes for a new development went onto the market. Nationwide’s figures are based on its own mortgage data, and it suggests that the market is likely to continue to be busy for the next six months, owing to the stamp duty relief. Price growth was also likely to accelerate, it said, with demand expected to exceed the supply of homes on the market.
Barclays boss Jes Staley said that built-up savings would help to create the biggest economic boom since the aftermath of World War Two in the UK. The Nationwide said that the longer-term outlook for the housing market was more “uncertain”. “If unemployment rises sharply towards the end of the year as most analysts expect, there is scope for activity to slow, perhaps sharply,” Gardner said.