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House prices surge to yet another all-time high as stamp duty holiday deadline approaches

·1-min read
 (Daniel Lynch)
(Daniel Lynch)

House prices have surged to another all time high driven by the stamp duty holiday deadline and the “race for space” scramble for bigger homes.

The average cost of a property in the UK rose 9.5 per cent to £261,743 in the year to May, according to latest figures from mortgage lender Halifax.

However, London is lagging behind the rest of the country with prices only 3.1 per cent up on a year ago.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “Heading into the traditionally busy summer period, market activity continues to be boosted by the government’s stamp duty holiday, with prospective buyers racing to complete purchases in time to benefit from the maximum tax break ahead of June’s deadline, after which there will be a phased return to full rates.

“For some homebuyers, lockdown restrictions have also resulted in an unexpected build-up of savings, which can now be deployed to fund bigger deposits for bigger properties, potentially pushing property prices even higher.”

Lucy Pendleton of estate agents James Pendleton said: “The inability of Britons to go on holiday means there’s no distraction now from executing that ambitious move to a larger home.

“The sluggish figures for London still don’t tell the full story. House price growth in the capital is not exceptional as a whole, but it is still being powered by the same race for space that is driving the national market.

“Many buyers just can’t get what they want within budget after a relatively strong decade of gains. Location has become less important and space more so.”

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