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UK house prices return to double-digit growth

UK house prices return to double-digit growth

Annual price growth hit 10% in November, up from 9.9% in October, according to Nationwide index

Housebuyers looking in estate agents window
The price rises mean the average value of a UK property stands at £252,687. Photograph: Clynt Garnham Business/Alamy

House prices in the UK continued their upwards climb in November, reaching double-digit growth again as demand remained strong after the end of the stamp duty holiday and the furlough job support scheme.

The average UK house price rose by 0.9% last month, according to data from the building society Nationwide, after an increase of 0.7% in October, taking the average UK property value to £252,687. Average house prices are 10% higher than a year earlier.

House prices have risen to almost 15% above levels seen in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic first struck the UK, Nationwide said.

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The continuing rising prices appear to be in part down to a reduction in the supply of houses available to buyers. The October property market was the quietest for almost a decade, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs, as house sales were 28% lower in October than a year earlier after a record surge in activity earlier in 2021.

Recent figures from the Bank of England showed the number of mortgages approved for UK house purchases fell in October to the lowest level in 16 months.

“There have been some signs of cooling in housing market activity in recent months,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist. He added this was “almost inevitable” after the stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland finished at the end of September, as buyers rushed to bring forward their purchases to take advantage of the tax break, which also made larger homes with bigger gardens more popular.

“Activity has been extremely buoyant in 2021. The number of housing transactions so far this year has already exceeded the number recorded in 2020 with two months still to go and is actually tracking close to the number seen at the same stage in 2007, before the global financial crisis struck,” Gardner said.

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