August house prices

House prices are still rising just not quite as fast as they were earlier this year according the Halifax. This month the ‘average’ house is currently £261,221 and leaving prices 7.6% higher than at the same time last year.

In a blizzard of half year results estate agents and house builders have all confirmed that whilst the country has been coughing and sneezing their way through Covid over the past year and a bit those connected with the property market have been making out like bandits!

But high prices aren’t the main concern for both buyers and sellers at the moment, the lack of stock is causing big problems. Buyers are finding that they have little choice and potential sellers are holding back for fear of not being able to find somewhere to move to.

Data analysts TwentyCi says that aside from London the whole of England and Wales at a regional level has between 2.0 and 1.7 months of property stock left to sell. Overall, the available months of stock numbers are down by half on historical norms. 

As the Stamp Duty holiday is wound down we have seen record numbers of people moving. In June we would usually expect 103,000 sales but this year HMRC currently estimates that 213,000 sales completed!

It’s still too hard to predict what is going to happen to prices over the next year but I suspect that given the demand there is, the lack of available stock and the continued low borrowing costs that this is “the new normal” we have speculated about and that prices won’t crash when Furlough ends. I don’t imagine they can continue to rise at more than 5% per annum but check back in a few days and see if like many of my professional collegues I have changed my forecast again!

House prices will rise by 9 per cent this year as the property market is fuelled by the extended stamp duty holiday and the impact of repeated lockdowns on appetite for homes, Savills predicts.