Average UK house price up by more than £15,000 since June – index

The average UK house price has increased by more than £15,000 between June and November – marking the strongest run of growth over five months since 2004, according to an index.

This could mean that some home buyers rushing to take advantage of a stamp duty holiday could end up paying more due to the speed of house price growth than they will gain in stamp duty savings.

Typical property values reached £253,243 in November, Halifax said.

This was 7.6% higher than a year earlier – marking the strongest annual growth since June 2016.

On a monthly basis, house prices in November were 1.2% higher than in October.

Back in June, the average UK house price was £237,834.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “House prices rose by more than 1% in November, adding almost £3,000 to the cost of a typical UK home.

“At just over £253,000, the average property price has risen by more than £15,000 since June.

“In percentage terms that equates to 6.5% – the strongest five-monthly gain since 2004.

“With mortgage approvals at a 13-year high, the current market continues to be shaped by a desire for more space, the move from urban to rural locations and indications of a trend for more home working in the future.

“And while industry data shows agreed sales and new instructions to sell fell to their lowest level in the past five months, both remain at historically high levels and well above seasonal norms.”

A stamp duty holiday, which ends on March 31 2021, is among the factors fuelling housing market activity.

Mr Galley said: “As the March deadline for the stamp duty holiday approaches, properties sold to home movers recorded a much higher rate of annual house price inflation (7.9%) than first-time buyers (5.8%).

“It is interesting to note that the stamp duty saving of £2,500 on a home costing £250,000 is now far outweighed by the average increase in property prices since July.

“The housing market has been much more resilient than many predicted at the outset of the pandemic, and indeed many households remain confident about further price growth next year.

“However, the economic environment continues to look challenging. With unemployment predicted to peak around the middle of next year, and the UK’s economy not expected to fully recover the ground lost over 2020 for a number of years, a slowdown in housing market activity is likely over the next 12 months.”

Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “House price growth continues to be fuelled by the huge amount of liquidity in the market and the stamp duty tax incentives introduced by the Chancellor.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “While some buyers may be panicking, if they wish to take advantage of the stamp duty saving, they need to select their lender carefully, use a broker and a switched-on solicitor. There is still plenty of time to save a substantial sum of money but the right advisers need to be in place.”