UK property: Homes up by £15k during lockdowns

The average value of a three-bedroom semi is now around £15,000 higher than at the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 – a rise of more than £1,000 per month on average. Prices increased 1.1 percent month-on-month in March and were 6.5 percent higher than the same month last year, Halifax figures showed. The lender said Government support measures and a stamp duty holiday have been key to bolstering the housing market.
Nicky Stevenson, managing director of estate agent group Fine & Country, said: “The pandemic’s stoking of house prices is now so established it can’t really be called a miniboom at all anymore. This latest price leap is solely down to incredible demand and the Halifax has also revised February’s figures up too.

“Stock levels haven’t reached their spring peak and there are hordes of buyers chasing a relatively small pool of homes.

“Demand is totally eclipsing supply and that’s forcing buyers to chase prices just as they were in September and October.”

Monthly property sales rose in February 2021 to their highest level since March 2007.

The 147,050 transactions were up by 23 percent on January’s total, said Government data.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “What we are seeing is a real lack of stock which in turn increases competition and house prices.” 

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “Few could have predicted quite how well the housing market would ride out the pandemic, let alone post growth of more than £1,000 per month on average.

“The continuation of Government support measures has been key in boosting confidence in the housing market.”

Halifax predicts a busy property market through the summer as consumer confidence is boosted by the vaccine rollout.

Buyer demand is still being fuelled by a desire for larger properties and more outdoor space, as work-life priorities have shifted during the pandemic.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “With hardly a day going by without another lender launching a high loan-to-value offering, and indeed rates coming down on these, there is plenty to tempt borrowers.”

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