UK Property Prices At All-Time High

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UK house prices hit an all-time high in August, with the biggest monthly increase since 2016, as high demand and the stamp duty holiday have driven the market, according to mortgage provider Halifax.

There was a 1.6 per cent increase month-on-month, even with the UK being hit by its worst recession in recent history, reports the Guardian.

According to Halifax’s monthly House Prices Index report, house prices have increased by 5.2 per cent more than they were in August 2019.

Mortgage rivals Nationwide confirmed the surge, last week estimating that UK property prices had increased by 2 per cent last month to a record high, with the average UK house costing over £245,000 for the first time.

However, while this is good news for those selling their home, it is not so great for first-time buyers.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said that the increase has been “fuelled by the release of pent-up demand, a strong desire amongst some buyers to move to bigger properties, and of course the temporary cut to stamp duty”.

Galley warned that the price surge is ‘unlikely’ to continue in the medium term. “The macroeconomic picture in the UK should become clearer over the next few months as various government support measures come to an end,” he said. 

He noted that once the government ends the furlough scheme in October, the true picture of the impact the pandemic has had on employment will then become clear, and many economists have predicted a wave in unemployment figures, which will then negatively affect property prices.

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