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UK house prices hit record £286,079 but market set to cool

UK house prices in April are up 10.8% on the same month last year. Photo: Getty
UK house prices in April are up 10.8% on the same month last year. Photo: Getty

The average UK house price increased by more than £3,000 in April in what is the tenth consecutive month of increases but the cost of living will cool the market, according to Halifax.

The typical house price was a new record of £286,079 ($353,101) — an annual increase of 10.8%.

This pandemic-fuelled housing boom means homeowners have enjoyed an almost £50,000 increase in the price of their property over the last two years.

To put this into context, it took the previous five and half years to make an equivalent leap, with values increasing by £47,689 between October 2014 and April 2020.

“For now, at least, despite the current economic uncertainty, the strong increases we’ve seen in house prices show little sign of abating,” said Russell Galley, the managing director of Halifax.

“Housing transactions and mortgage approvals remain above pre-pandemic levels, and the continued growth in new buyer inquiries suggests activity will remain heightened in the short-term.

Read more: How rising interest rates will impact your mortgage and savings

“The imbalance between supply and demand persists, with an insufficient number of new properties coming on to the market to meet the needs of prospective buyers and strong competition to secure properties driving up prices,” he added.

At the current rate of growth, the price of a typical home could hit £300,000 by the end of the year, but Halifax said that remains unlikely given the economic conditions predicted.

The Bank of England forecast on Thursday inflation would exceed 10% by the end of this year and the economy would shrink sharply in the final three months of 2022.

The BoE raised interest rates by a quarter point on Thursday to 1%, and financial markets see rates rising to 2% or more by December.

Galley said “headwinds” in the wider economy “cannot be ignored”.

“The house price to income ratio is already at its highest ever level, and with interest rates on the rise and inflation further squeezing household budgets, it remains likely that the rate of house price growth will slow by the end of this year,” he added.

Across the UK, Halifax said Northern Ireland is the strongest performer for annual house price growth, at 14.9%, although the average house price there remains some way short of its record of £230,931, set in the summer of 2007.

Read more: UK average rent surges past £1,000

Average house prices in Wales and Scotland hit new records in April, at £214,396 and £196,471 respectively.

Six out of nine English regions recorded double-digit annual house price inflation during April.

In the South West, the average house price broke through the £300,000 barrier for the first time, coming in at £301,632.

Annual house price inflation in London continues to lag the rest of the UK, at 6.2%.

However, average property values in London remain much higher than the rest of the UK, with the latest average price of £537,896 also a new record for the city, Halifax said.

Watch: Will UK house prices ever fall?