UK house prices jump 12.4% in April – ONS

Sunrise, Looking Up, Hyatt Centre, Chicago, Illinois, America

UK house prices grew 12.4% in the year to April to a new record high, according to data released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.
This was up from 9.7% growth in March, and meant the average UK house price in April stood at £281,000, up £31,000 on the same time a year earlier. It also marked the second-largest annual rise since 2006.

In England, average house prices increased 11.9%, while Wales saw a 16.2% jump, and Scotland and Northern Ireland saw increases of 16.2% and 10.4%, respectively. London remained the region with the lowest annual growth at 7.9%.

ONS house prices statistician Chris Jenkins said: “While annual growth nudged up again in April, this was mainly due to falls seen at this time last year from changes in the previous stamp duty holiday.

“Wales and Scotland saw the highest growth with London, again, growing the slowest.

“Rental prices continued to grow steadily overall. However, while still lagging other nations and regions, growth in London continues to pick up.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Your home made almost as much as you did last year, at an impressive £31,000. At the same time, inflation has been eating away at the real value of your mortgage, so anyone who owns their own home is quids in. But delight for homeowners means agony for prospective first-time buyers.

“House prices have only risen faster than this once since the onset of the pandemic, and that was in the frantic rush of June 2021 when the stamp duty holiday’s most generous period was coming to an end. It has pushed house prices to an incredible new high.

“Meanwhile, homeowners are benefitting from one of the side-effects of inflation, in that the real value of their mortgage is dropping. It fell 9,1% over the past 12 months, even before they made a single repayment.

“However, this could be as good as it gets for property owners. These figures reflect house purchase decisions made much earlier, when we had only had the very first of the interest rate rises, and the full horror of the energy price cap hadn’t kicked in. In many cases, buyers will have made an offer before the invasion of Ukraine, and well before it had a chance to feed so spectacularly into inflation.”

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