This report is the first UK House Price index published by the ONS since it was suspended in May 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The ONS reveal the average property in the UK was valued at £234,612, £6,000 higher than in April 2019.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices dropped 0.2% between March and April 2020, compared to an increase of 0.7% for the same period in 2019.
The ONS report revealed notable variations regionally, with the North East the only region in England to see house price falls over the last 12 months. The ONS index found that prices dropped 2.3% in the region, in stark contrast to a 4.7% increase seen in the East Midland.
Mr Joshua Elash, director of lender MT Finance, said the year-on-year increase tells us what is now a historical tale of a market getting back on its feet after the “Brexit debacle”.
He added: “’ This positive data reflects the tail end of the Boris Bounce, but it’s not until we get the data in relation to activity in July that we will get a really clear picture of the subsequent impact the COVID pandemic. The UK Government’s response to it has had on property values. Today’s ONS data is as positive as it is irrelevant. Expect this to change.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of broker SPF Private Clients, said that the numbers show a housing market that was functioning well before measures like lockdown were introduced.
He continued: “There was evidence of plenty of pent-up demand in the market as Brexit seemed to be on its way to a conclusion and those who had put their decision to move on hold were finally getting on with it. Of course, we know what happened next and how Covid-19 changed everything, but as we emerge from lockdown and life starts to get back to thing resembling normal, the market is thriving once more.
According to the property website Rightmove,
the UK housing market has seen its busiest month in more than 10 years in July.
Would-be buyers who were on the sidelines because of COVID-19 have added to a flurry of positive activity in the housing market.
Only months ahead will tell if this is the recovery of the housing market or a dead cat bounce?
Source: British Landlords Association
Author: Peter Hampton
Date: 19th of August 2020
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