Property

Annual house price growth at 12.4% in April: UK HPI

Property Reporter
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22nd June 2022
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Albeit slightly historic, the latest data released by the government on UK house prices revealed that April saw the price of an average home reach £281,161, with prices in the UK rising by 12.4% in the year, up from 9.7% in March 2022.

At the country level, the largest annual house price growth in the year to April 2022 was recorded in Wales and Scotland, where house prices increased by 16.2%. England saw house prices increase by 11.9% in the year to April 2022.

Northern Ireland saw house prices increase by 10.4% over the year to Quarter 1 (January to March) 2022.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 1.1% between March 2022 and April 2022, up from -1.3% during the same period a year earlier (March 2021 and April 2021).

Alex Lyle, director of Richmond estate agency Antony Roberts, says: "Put an ambitious price on a property with a smart address and it will be met; do the same with a ‘B grade’ property and you won’t get the same result.

"Large family houses in the £1.5m-plus bracket are still going to best-and-final offers but things that need work are more of a struggle as people are nervous about rising building costs. Flats are also sticking, especially those with no outside space.

"Areas such as Richmond are doing well for many reasons but good schooling is key – the cost of private education is now so high that many buyers are leaning towards state schools, with several outstanding examples in the borough.’

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: "With inflation soaring to a 40-year high of 9.1 per cent, cost of living increases and a string of rate rises from the Bank of England, there is growing concern around affordability and borrowing potential, as well as the potential knock-on effect to house prices.

"Mortgage rates remain competitive although they are on the rise. Borrowers need to move quickly to secure the best-fixed rates as they are often pulled at short notice. With service levels varying considerably between lenders, it may take longer than borrowers anticipate, particularly if their case is complex."

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: "Price changes can reflect stock shortages as well as regional and house type variations, as reflected in this, the most comprehensive of all the market surveys.

"But its inevitable historic nature means it is not yet showing the softening in demand picked up by other reports over the past few weeks.

"We are seeing increasing nervousness about taking on debt at a time when buyers and sellers have no real clue as to when and how the rising cost of living will start to level out. Nevertheless, continuing lack of choice and strong employment prospects means there is still little chance of significant price changes over the next few months at least."

Anna Clare Harper, director of real estate technology platform IMMO, says: "UK HPI data shows annual house price growth of 12.4 per cent, led by the South West, East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. The natural next question is: why are house prices still booming in the context of post-Covid, post-Brexit and mid-Ukraine turmoil? The problem is much the same as that affecting the wider economy – shortage of supply. This is particularly acute for properties for sale and indeed for rent which are affordable, in places people want and need to live, and of good quality.

"Suitable, affordable housing shortages are being made worse by planning backlogs from lockdown alongside labour and material shortages and inflationary pressures, alongside the fact that many new build schemes are unaffordable to local people. The result is an ongoing and growing constraint on the affordability of home ownership. In England, full-time employees could expect to spend 9.1 times their annual earnings on purchasing a home in 2021, and this figure is not improving with the latest HPI data highlighting that house price growth continues to outpace wage growth."

Peter Beaumont, CEO at The Mortgage Lender, comments: “The property market continues to defy laws of financial gravity as house prices continue to increase year on year. However, the market faces strong headwinds in the form of rising interest rates, inflation, and cost of living, all of which put considerable affordability constraints on home buyers. This may set the scene for a cooling of the market, but the imbalance of supply and demand still pushes against this trend.

“As the Bank of England also announced its fifth consecutive interest rate rise, existing homeowners and prospective home buyers will be looking to lock in fixed-rate deals in order to shelter them from any further rises that are expected for the year ahead. That said, there is also a growing trend for people taking tracker mortgages with no early repayment charges in case the base rate doesn’t increase as high as predicted. For those looking to re-finance or step foot on the property ladder, looking beyond traditional lenders who offer alternative options might better help support consumers with their property ambitions.”

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