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Average UK house price breaks through £250,000 barrier – index

·2-min read

The average UK house price has topped a quarter of a million pounds for the first time, according to an index.

Typical property values reached £250,457 in October, marking a 7.5% jump compared with a year earlier, according to Halifax.

It was the strongest annual growth since June 2016.

Prices also edged up at a more modest rate of 0.3% month-on-month.

But the index said that while an expected downturn in the housing market has been delayed, Government support measures will not continue indefinitely.

And estate agents commenting on the report warned a boom followed by a bust in the spring should be avoided at all costs.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, pointed out that month-on-month price growth has “slowed considerably”, at 0.3% compared with 1.5% in September.

He said: “Transaction levels continue to be supercharged by pent-up demand as a result of the spring/summer lockdown, as well as the Chancellor’s waiver on stamp duty for properties up to £500,000.

“While Government support measures have undoubtedly helped to delay the expected downturn in the housing market, they will not continue indefinitely and, as we move through autumn and into winter, the macroeconomic landscape in the UK remains highly uncertain.”

He added: “We expect to see greater downward pressure on house prices as we move into 2021.”

Anna Clare Harper, CEO of asset manager SPI Capital, said: “According to Halifax, house prices were 7.5% higher than in the same month a year earlier.

“On the face of it, this feels like positive news amidst much that is negative – economically, politically, and socially – at least for property owners. It’s not as simple as this, and this pace of growth is not forecast to continue at the same level.

“Right now, prices are being buoyed up by the temporary stamp duty reduction, the release of pent-up demand and supply, and the desire to improve surroundings following lockdown.”

She continued: “The housing market is not one market. If you’re thinking about buying a property in this fast-changing environment, one of the best things you can do is to detach from the emotional dimension, so that you are able to analyse whether you are getting a good price and ‘value for money’.”

Lucy Pendleton, from estate agents James Pendleton, said: “A boom followed by a bust in the spring should be avoided at all costs but the higher prices travel, the more likely that is.

“However, a slowdown in monthly price growth indicates that the market has already started to level off.”

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