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UK house prices soar as high demand meets shortage of homes on market

Property prices up by 2.1% in April to £327,797

A surge in activity has pushed up UK property prices to a record high this month, following the government’s launch of its mortgage guarantee scheme to assist people with smaller deposits.

Rightmove, the online property portal, confirmed that the average asking price for a property rose by 2.1% in April to £327,797, a new all-time high, and an increase of £6,733 from the previous month.

The move has come about as a result of a shortage of properties on the market, while a number of families are looking to buy larger properties in order to work from home more comfortably.

Many sellers are putting sales off until they have been vaccinated which is leading to a further shortage in supply.

As of Monday, banks and building societies will start offering mortgages that cover 95% of a purchase price under the government’s guarantee scheme. As disclosed in March’s budget, lenders will be allowed to purchase a guarantee on the portion of the mortgage between 80% and 95%. The government will cover any losses on the debt should the borrower fall into financial difficulty which makes them unable to make repayments.

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Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at GoodMove, commented on today’s Rightmove HPI:

“According to the latest Rightmove House Price Index figures, average property prices in the UK have risen to a new record high of £327,797, up by 2.1% from last month,” Counsell said.

“The Rightmove HPI also shows that while many new properties were put on the market this month, there was still not enough to meet buyer demand. In fact, the average number of days it takes to sell reached its lowest ever level making it a great time for anyone looking to sell their house fast – and signals some issues for buyers who may struggle to find suitable property.”

“Given the extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday until the end of June, this surge is not necessarily that surprising, but does propose the question of what will happen after June.”

“Looking ahead, we predict the property market will continue to thrive in the first half of 2021; however, following the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday the state of the property market remains uncertain. Therefore, we expect that house prices and demand will ease in the last 6 months of 2021 resulting in a slower housing market.”

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