Personal Law

Property prices hit all-time monthly high

Estimated read time: 2 mins

Carrie Tennick, August 07, 2020

UK house prices rose to an all-time high in July, according to Halifax’s House Price Index.

The country experienced a “mini-boom” that drove house prices up last month as lockdown measures were eased.

How much did house prices rise by?

In July, average house prices rose to £241,604. This was a 1.6% increase from June, when average prices stood at £237,834, and a 3.8% rise from July 2019, when they were at £232,706.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said after four months of property prices declining through the coronavirus lockdown, average prices “experienced their greatest month on month increase this year. He explained this this “comfortably” offset losses seen in 2020.

He said July’s average house price is the highest it has been since the Halifax House Price Index began.

Why house prices rose

Galley put the rise in house prices down to “pent-up demand from the period of lockdown” being released into the housing market at a time where there is a low supply of homes. This is “helping to exert upwards pressure on house prices,” he explained.

Adding to the increase in prices was the government’s cut in stamp duty. Combined with “evidence from households and agents suggesting that confidence is currently growing,” Galley said the immediate future for the housing market looks brighter than expected earlier in the year.

Other housing marketing activity

Data from HMRC showed that June unsurprisingly saw a rise in home sales. As restrictions on the property market were lifted as the UK started to come out of lockdown, seasonally adjusted property transactions in June stood at 63,250. This was a 31.7% rise from May’s sales figures.

Quarterly sales were a different matter, though. The data from HMRC showed that quarter-on-quarter transactions were roughly 47% lower than in Quarter One of 2020.

June also saw a huge monthly rise in the number of mortgage approvals. According to the Bank of England, 40,010 mortgages were approved in June, up from a low of 9,273 in May. This was a rise of 331%.

The long-term outlook

Despite July’s “mini-boom” and positivity surrounding the current housing market, Galley said that “looking further ahead, there is still a great deal of uncertainty around the lasting impact of the pandemic”.

He went on to add: “In particular, a weakening in labour market conditions would lead us to expect greater downward pressure on prices in the medium term.”

If you are considering making a home move, First4Lawyers could help you find the property solicitor for you.

Just give us a call, request a call back or make an enquiry online and we’ll get back to you. During these surprising and uncertain times, you’ll need the best legal help you can get.

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