01 Jun 2021
Annual house price growth increased to 10.9% in May, close to a seven-year high.
Prices rose 1.8% month-on-month, following a 2.3% increase in April, according to data from Nationwide published on Tuesday.
The new all-time high average house price is £242,832, a rise of close to £24,000 over the past year.
According to property expert Lucy Pendleton: “The market is hitting peak exuberance now as we enter summer.
“In fact, it has hit a rate of growth not seen since the UK market roared back to life from the doldrums created by the global financial crisis.”
Last year, activity within the UK’s housing market collapsed during the first national coronavirus lockdown, with transactions plummeting to a record low of 42,000 in April 2020, City AM reports.
That said, activity soared at the end of last year and at the start of 2021, hitting an all-time high of 183,000 in March.
Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner said the market has seen a “complete turnaround” over the last year.
He added that whilst the rise in transactions has been fuelled by the stamp duty holiday extension, it’s not the major factor in the momentum.
“Amongst homeowners surveyed at the end of April that were either moving home or considering a move, more than two thirds said this would have been the case even if the stamp duty holiday had not been extended.
“It is shifting housing preferences which is continuing to drive activity, with people reassessing their needs in the wake of the pandemic,” he added.
Anthony Codling at property analysis firm Twindig commented: “Nationwide believes that the stamp duty holiday, working from home and Covid-19 has led to a 'race for space' as households seek bigger homes and more outside space in less urban areas. However, this space race will leave many aspiring buyers left behind and grounded as house prices become too high in the sky to reach.”