UK house price rise hits 11-year high as buyer demand picks up

 

Over the past month, the average price of a UK property has increased by 1.5%, or £4,503, according to the latest Rightmove data – the highest price jump seen at this time of year since 2007.

The latest upturn in house prices across the country, which has hit new record levels in four out of 11 regions in the UK, has been partially attributed to the fact that there are 5% fewer homes being put up for sale than there were this time last year – along with an influx of buyers joining the race to benefit from first-time buyer stamp duty savings and the current low interest rates before future base rate rises.

Performance by region and buyer

Year-on-year, prices across the country went up by an average of 2.1% in March, compared to 1.5% in February. By region, after Wales, the biggest annual house price increase was seen in the West Midlands, which registered a 5.1% rise to £219,941, followed by the north-west at 4.7%, bringing the average property price there up to £189,900.
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First-time buyer house prices have reached their highest level at £189,840 this month after a 1% rise from February and a 2.2% rise over the past year. For second-steppers, prices have gone up by 1.2% since last month and 3% since last year, with the average home now priced at £272,031 – another all-time high, according to Rightmove.

Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, said: “It remains to be seen if this month’s 11-year price rise high for March is a catch-up anomaly after two more subdued price rise months, or an early sign of price pressure building up a real head of steam as we enter the spring market.”

Affordability is stretched

He added: “Either way, sellers need to be mindful of increasingly stretched buyer affordability, and the more they increase prices the more buyers will hit their ceiling on the amount they are able to save for a deposit and borrow for a mortgage.

“There does however still seem to be potential price headroom in parts of the country, especially in some of the regions in the north, and in the more mass-market sectors.”

In London, there were 3% less properties on the market than in March last year as sellers remain cautious in the current climate. Although March saw a monthly uplift of 0.6%, bringing average house prices to £631,651, year-on-year the market was down by 0.6% overall.

First-time buyers in London have seen average prices in their bracket rise by 0.5% to £491,943, which is only just below the £500,000 cap in the capital’s stamp duty relief level. At the other end of the scale, “top of the ladder” properties in London saw their values rise by 3.3% in the month to March, up to almost £1.5m.

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UK house price rise hits 11-year high as buyer demand picks up

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