Property prices boosted prior to lockdown

21 May 2020

Prior to lockdown measures being imposed across Britain, property prices experiences a substantial increase – their fastest in two years. 

During the month of March, property prices in the UK registered an average increase od 2.1%, a marked rise for housing across the country. The price hike was also up 2% from the previous month, which had been already recorded as the fastest price increase since November 2018. 

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house prices jumped across all four corners of the United Kingdom. 
In England, house prices were up 2.2% to £248,000, whilst in Wales, prices climbed 1.1% to £162,000.

House prices in Northern Ireland hiked an average of 3.8% to £140,580, while Scottish property prices edged 1.5% higher to £151,856.

The highest rate of growth was recorded in London, where prices jumped at their fastest rate in four years. House prices soared by 4.7% in the capital, reaching an average of £486,000.

The report from the ONS stated: “There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that the period between December 2019 and March 2020 has brought more certainty to the market than in previous quarters, which may have boosted transactions at the top end of the price scale.”

The agency also added that it expects the number of housing transactions in April to decline, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ONS decided not to issue reports for the near future as a result, arguing that it would not be an accurate representation of the housing market. 

Speaking to the Financial Reporter, director of MT Finance Tomer Aboody, said: “While the suspension of this index until further notice makes sense, there were some real positive signs leading up to April, with good levels of transactions and values. This was all part of the positive UK outlook post-general election and the getting on with Brexit.

"With the government allowing the market to re-open, enabling agents and valuers to access properties once more, this has resulted in most lenders returning with mortgage offerings similar to those on offer pre-lockdown. 

“Hopefully, this will gain traction going forward, which along with government stimulus and assistance should see a steadier level of activity in the market in the final half of the year."