Albeit slightly historic, this morning’s figures from the Land Registry paint a picture of a housing market that has certainly done more than just survive lockdown.
According to the numbers, average house prices in the UK were up by 5.4% in the year to October, a rise of 4.3% in the year to September and the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since October 2016, with prices hitting a new record high of £245,000.
The data revealed that average house prices increased over the year in England to £262,000 (5.4%), Wales to £176,000 (5.8%), Scotland to £163,000 (6.0%) and Northern Ireland to £143,000 (2.4%).
England, Scotland and Wales all saw record-high average prices in October 2020. Northern Ireland’s average house price in Q3 2020 is the highest since Q4 2008.
The East Midlands, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber experienced the joint highest annual growth in average house prices at 6.6%. The lowest annual growth was in the East of England, where average prices increased by 3.4% over the year.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.7% between September and October 2020, compared with a decrease of 0.3% in the same period a year ago.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.9% over the month, following an increase of 1.5% in the previous month.
Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of asset manager SPI Capital said, “Even though these numbers are a little dated, they show a more complete picture than other house price indices. This is important, as, in 2020 in particular, heady house price increases have been reported. This alone has been known to influence people’s buying decisions, through a ‘fear of missing out’.
“Looking at sales completed, In October, prices were 5.4% higher than in the previous year. This growth was led regionally by Scotland, and English regions – the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. It’s worth noting that the volume of transactions this is based on is still significantly below the previous year, with transactions in England 32.4% lower than October 2019.
“Within the data, we see a clear reflection of the times we are in. Homeowners (and, now to a lesser extent, first-time buyers) are understandably craving more space. So it is unsurprising that the data show a 6.8% increase in detached property prices. At the other end of the spectrum, flats increased by just 2.4%.
“What happens next to sales volumes and prices will be a product of our economy, regulatory changes and of course, the success of the coronavirus vaccination programme. Despite a notionally positive house price trend, homebuyers, first-time buyers and investors in the residential market are of course hoping for a return to some form of normality.”