Halifax has revealed that the average price of a home in the UK has increased to over £250,000 for the first time ever.
The UK’s biggest mortgage lender said that house prices last month were 7.5% higher than they were for the same time period in 2019.
Halifax said that the biggest price increases since lockdown were experienced by larger homes. Spacious homes are in high demand as the Covid-19 crisis has led to a shift in priorities, with home-working becoming more commonplace.
However, Halifax warns that prices will eventually experience ‘downward pressure’ from the economic fallout that will follow the pandemic.
The lender says that the downturn will come early next year, with month-on-month increases in house prices already starting to lose steam.
Managing director of Halifax, Russell Galley, said that support measures taken by the government, such as the stamp duty holiday and extension of the furlough scheme, had delayed the economic downturn for now, but the future is still uncertain.
"The country's struggle with Covid-19 is far from over," Galley said, and this has led to "clear headwinds" for the housing market in the UK.
The data released by Halifax mirrors the trends shown by rival Nationwide. However, Nationwide calculated the average price of a home to be £227,826, not £250,547 as Halifax has it.
Chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, Mark Harris, said: "People require more outdoor space and not all flats have roof terraces and balconies. But while Covid is having a massive impact it is likely to be temporary in the scheme of things, with people not able to work from home four days a week forever.
"Once we have more normality, [employers] will want to see people in the office more. Those flats that are 20 minutes from the workplace will be more appealing than a house on the Dorset coast if you have to be in the office four times a week.”
Other experts have highlighted that the housing market varies widely up and down the country depending on location. Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, said:
"If you're thinking about buying a property in this fast-changing environment, one of the best things you can do is to detach from the emotional dimension, so that you are able to analyse whether you are getting a good price and value for money.”
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has...
MPs have called for global giants, including Apple and Amazon,...
Pre-payment energy specialists Utilita could be banned from taking on...
Rishi Sunak has pledged to help thousands of unemployed people...