House prices grow at fastest annual rate in over two years

UK house prices have grown at the fastest rate for more than two years as a Spring demand increase and Brexit delay take effect.

Figures released by Halifax indicate a price rise of 5% in the three months to April compared to the same period last year, the fastest growth rate since February 2017 and 0.5% ahead of economist predictions.  

On a quarterly basis, prices stand 4.2% higher with a month-to-month comparison indicating a 1.1% increase following a 1.3% drop in March. 

The average property price now stands at £236,619, almost £82,000 higher than during the financial crisis a decade ago. 

Chief executive of SPF private clients, Mark Harris noted that:  “The lack of supply and properties coming to the market is most likely continuing to support property prices, while cheap mortgage rates continue to attract those who are ready to take the plunge.”

‘Summer relief rally’ expected

And it could be a bright summer for the property market too with Rightmove predicting a Brexit ‘relief rally’ this summer. 

The property website released its own data highlighting asking price growth from March to April of 1.1% (£3,447), as the delay to Brexit gives a longer period of market certainty for homeowners looking to sell and would-be buyers to take action. 

Read more: Robust property market as sales increase in Q1

Rightmove’s Miles Shipside commented on the data and state of play in the property market that: “No doubt there are still a lot of twists and turns to come but this extension could give hesitating home movers encouragement that there is now a window of relative certainty in uncertain times.

“We are not anticipating an activity surge but maybe a wave of relief that releases some pent-up demand to take advantage of static property prices and cheap fixed-rate mortgages.

“Properties in the middle sector are often second-steppers outgrowing their first property and it gets harder to postpone a move with growing children. They may have already delayed for a year or two waiting for Brexit clarity and, understandably, their patience is wearing thin.”

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