Guild of Landlords House Price Digest – August 2021

Average house prices shot up by 13.2 per cent in the year to the end of June – the fastest growth homeowners have seen since November 2004. House price digest for August 2021. 

According to official house price data from the Office of National Statistics, the price of an average home is now £266,000 – an increase of £31,000 in 12 months. But the housing market in London is still lacklustre, with 6.3 per cent annual growth – the lowest in the country for seven months in a row. 

Prices in the capital are slowly going up in value at half the rate of the rest of the country. The ONS cites Chancellor Rishi Sunak's stamp duty holiday as the main trigger for the house price explosion, leading to a record 198,240 homes changing hands in June.

Record house prices

According to the five central value monitors, average house prices stand at a record high. Rightmove reports asking prices for July were 5.6 per cent up at an average of £337,371.

Rightmove property data director Tim Bannister said: "Selling before you buy is a successful tactic in fast-moving markets, especially when new listings popular in both specification and location are selling in days rather than weeks. "

Your buyer will have to show patience while you wait for the right property to come to market, though the slow speed of conveyancing lets you catch up later if it takes a few weeks to find the right property. 

"Some sellers are even completing their sale and going into intermediate rented accommodation and then buying, though this takes extra resolve and time. However, having operated in a fast-moving market for over a year now, estate agents know the best tactics to secure the best properties, so it's well worth sounding them out with a discussion on selling before buying."

The Halifax puts an average home price at £261,221, while the Nationwide edges lower at £244,229.

"Latest industry figures show instructions for sale are falling and estate agents are experiencing a drop in their available stock. However, this general lack of supply should help to support prices in the near-term, as will the low cost of borrowing and continued strong customer demand," said Russell Galley, the Halifax managing director.

Buyers are not fleeing cities

Richard Sexton, director at e-surv, says his data shows homebuyers seek larger properties but not in the countryside. He said detached house sales are up 140 per cent in Brighton, while the region with the highest number of detached home sales is the built-up southeast.

"The stamp duty holiday and the desire for more space when working from home spurred many purchasers into action. What is more unexpected is that the area with the highest increase in sales this year is the southeast, which belies the belief buyers were rushing to the countryside. Instead, buyers have been rushing to secure detached houses but not in rural locations.

English house prices by region – June 2021

House prices are rising the fastest in the North West, with a year-on-year 18.6 per cent increase, says the ONS. Overall, prices rise faster in the Midlands and North than in London and the South.

House price data comparison

These are the figures in per cent from the leading five house price indices for June 2021:


Key: A = Annual M = Monthly ONS figures lag the rest by a month

House Price Digest FAQ

The figures for average house prices and movements in property values can be confusing if you don't know how to read the data. Here are some of the most asked questions about house price indices.

Why are the average property prices different in each report?

The reports use different data to draw conclusions and take the data from different periods. Nationwide and Halifax base their indices on customer data, which are much smaller samples than the national data analysed by the ONS. Acadata's methodology includes analysis that no other index uses. Each organisation collects data over different periods, making a direct comparison difficult.

What is the average house price?

There's no such thing as an average home; the figure is simply math calculated from the total value of all transactions in the sample divided by the number of homes changing hands.

Which house price index is the best?

All have flaws because of the restricted data, but the one with the broadest sample comes from the ONS. Unfortunately, the ONS data is usually the last to market and out of date by two to three months on publication.

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