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UK property records continue to tumble as house prices hit new high

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·Contributor
·3-min read
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UTTOXETER-ENGLAND - MAY 05: A man is seen looking at houses for sale at an estate agents on May 05, 2021 in Uttoxeter, England . (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images) (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Wales led the way with a 13% rise, followed by the North West, which rose 11%, and Yorkshire and the Humber, which rose 10.5%. The average increase for all regions outside of the South of England was 9.7%. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Property prices in the UK are continuing to hit new highs, with Wales and the north of England leading the way as London stands still.

The average price of houses coming to market this month jumped by 1.8%, or £5,767 ($8,118), to a third of a million pounds (£333,564), new data has shown, surpassing the previous all-time high recorded a month ago.

According to Rightmove’s (RMV.L) house price index, Wales led the way with a 13% rise, followed by the North West, which rose 11%, and Yorkshire and the Humber, which rose 10.5%. The average increase for all regions outside of the South of England was 9.7%.

The year-on-year comparisons looked at data in March 2020 and May 2021, as the property market was suspended for most of April and May last year.

The property website said that the north sees “greater imbalance between demand and supply than London,” with people more likely to move locally and some more able to afford to upsize.

Watch: How much money do I need to buy a house?

However, the latest data showed that although average property prices in London are 2.9 times higher than prices in the northern areas of Britain, this was the smallest ratio recorded since 2013.

In previous market upturns London has generally led the way but the cost of properties in the capital have been treading water since the first lockdown.

They increased by a marginal 0.2%, a far cry from the double-digit increases seen elsewhere. This was due to the shortfall in supply that suits people’s changed needs and lives, Rightmove said.

“Last year’s unexpected mini-boom is rolling on into 2021, with new price and market activity records again defying many predictions,” Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said.

“Buyer affordability is increasingly stretched, but there’s obviously some elasticity left to stretch a bit more as many buyers are squeezing their way into higher price bands.”

Read more: UK house prices rise at fastest rate in five years ahead of stamp duty holiday deadline

He added: “The pandemic has given a greater focus on the home, and in 2020 we saw a surge in southern coastal and rural areas. So far 2021 is proving to be the year of the northern mover, not only satisfying their pent-up housing needs, but in doing so also narrowing some of the huge price gap with London.”

The data bolsters recent reports about the UK's stampede to buy homes before the end of the stamp duty holiday — a discount brought in by Rishi Sunak to support the market under strain from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tax break can mean a saving of up to 12% on the UK's most expensive properties. It was due to end on 31 March and was extended until 30 June.

Figures released by housing website Zoopla at the end of April also showed demand for UK property is up 27.5% year to date in 2021 when compared with average levels in 2020.

Watch: Why are house prices rising during a recession?

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