Albeit a little historic, the latest official government figures reveal that average house prices across the UK saw a 3.4% rise in the year to June - a rise of 1.1% against the previous month.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 2.7% between May 2020 and June 2020, compared with a rise of 0.4% during the same period a year earlier.
The data shows that house price growth was strongest in England where prices increased by 3.5% over the year to June 2020. The highest annual growth within the English regions was in the East Midlands where average house prices grew by 4.5%. The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where prices increased by 1.7% over the year to June 2020.
There was strong evidence of a recovery emerging across the market, with indicators on buyer demand, sales, and fresh listings all rallying noticeably following the lockdown-related falls. Respondents still appear relatively cautious about the prospect of this improvement being sustained over the longer term.
Property transaction statistics for June 2020 showed that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the estimated number of transactions of residential properties with a value of £40,000 or greater was 61,780. This is 37.4% lower than a year ago. Between May 2020 and June 2020, transactions increased by 28.4%.
Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, comments on the figures:
"Housing market performance in June feels like distant history but tells an interesting tale based on changing tastes and preferences. The data reflects the easing of lockdown with a substantial increase in pricing of 3.4% in the year to June. Within this, growth was greatest for terraced and semi-detached properties, with flats rising just 0.9%. This is unsurprising: qualitative and quantitative data point towards people wanting more space, particularly outside.
"We have seen a wide range of responses in the market from bullish bidding at auction to the ‘wait and see’ attitude of institutions. For investors and homebuyers alike, one tip is to take a step back and remember that for most of us, investing or buying a home represents a long-term commitment. It is important to try not to get too emotional. Low-interest rates can be misleading: capital is cheap but still needs repaying when you come to sell."
Tomer Aboody , director of property lender MT Finance, says:
"Annual and monthly price growth isn't too surprising considering the events which the UK has faced over the past 12 months, with Brexit, yet another general election and Covid-19. After lockdown and the welcome stimulus of stamp duty relief, although this is yet to be reflected in these numbers, buyers have been able to finally go out and purchase homes, giving the market a much-needed boost.
"Sales volumes are still a long way off where they were a few years ago, and this is creating a mini-boom with prices rising because there is less stock available. This has to be assessed and helped in some way soon, whether with further stamp duty allowances or more flexibility passed onto banks to provide mortgages. Liquidity is there but accessing it isn't always easy for would-be buyers and this is holding things back unnecessarily."