Live news updates: UK house price growth pushes average above £280,000 for first time
UK house price growth accelerated in April, pushing the average property price above £280,000 for the first time, according to official figures that show the pandemic-induced real estate boom continued despite rising borrowing costs.
UK average house prices increased 12.4 per cent during the year to April, up from 9.7 per cent in March 2022, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed on Wednesday.
The average UK house price was £281,000 in April 2022 – £31,000 higher than the same time last year. It was also £50,000 higher than in February 2020 before the pandemic took hold, reflecting high demand in the property market during the health crisis.
ONS house prices statistician Chris Jenkins noted that the acceleration was “mainly due to falls seen at this time last year from changes in the previous stamp duty holiday”.
As a result, official data was “not yet showing the softening in demand picked up by other reports over the past few weeks”, said Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chair.
However, many experts expect prices to cool as interest rates rise.
Andrew Montlake, managing director of the UK-wide mortgage broker, Coreco said that “increased borrowing costs and the immense pressure on household finances will almost certainly start to temper demand in the months ahead, which will see the rate of price growth slow”.
ONS data showed that London continued to be the region with the lowest annual growth at 7.9 per cent. In contrast, Wales and Scotland reported house price increases of more than 16 per cent.