House prices hit a new record high

House prices up by £3,000 according to Halifax’s latest house price index

couple looking at a house
(Image credit: getty images)

Whether you’re a first time buyer or looking to move, rising house prices continue to add pressure.

The average UK house price increased by more than £3,000 in April, in the longest run of monthly rises since 2016, according to the Halifax house price index, which tracks prices every month.

Halifax found that the average property value rose by 1.1% or £3,078 last month, meaning the typical house price would cost £286,079. That’s an annual increase of 10.8%.

If house prices continue to grow at this rate then the price of a typical home could hit £300,000 by the end of the year, but Halifax said that remains unlikely given the economic conditions predicted.

Prices have increased by £47,568 on average over the past two years.

Why are house prices rising?

The imbalance between supply and demand, an insufficient number of new properties coming on to the market to meet the needs of prospective buyers, and strong competition to secure properties is driving up prices, according to Halifax.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “There remains evidence that this demand is centred on larger family homes rather than smaller properties such as flats. Over the past year, prices for detached and semi-detached properties have risen by over 12%, compared to just 7.1% for flats.

“The net cash increase for detached properties, at just under £50,000 over the past year, is nearly five times more than for flats.”

However, Halifax said it expects the growth to slow down by the end of the year.

“The house price-to-income ratio is already at its highest ever level, and with interest rates on the rise and inflation further squeezing household budgets, it remains likely that the rate of house price growth will slow by the end of this year,” Galley added.

Where are house prices rising the fastest?

Across the UK, Halifax said Northern Ireland saw the highest annual house price growth, at 14.9%, although the average house price there remains some way short of its record of £230,93, set in the summer of 2007.

Average house prices in Wales and Scotland hit new records in April, at £214,396 and £196,471 respectively.

Six out of nine English regions recorded double-digit annual house price inflation during April.

In the South West, the average house price broke through the £300,000 barrier for the first time, at £301,632.

Annual house price inflation in London continues to lag the rest of the UK, at 6.2%.

However, average property values in London remain much higher than the rest of the UK, with the latest average price at an eye-watering £537,896, also a new record for the city, Halifax said.

RegionAverage house pricePercentage change
East Midlands£237,46612.8%
Eastern England£334,57011.9%
London£537,8966.2%
North East£163,4318.9%
North West£217,19910.7%
Northern Ireland£182,56514.9%
Scotland£196,4718.3%
South East£390,09512.1%
South West£301,63214.8%
Wales£214,39614.2%
West Midlands£241,63210.4%
Yorkshire and the Humber£197,95510.3%

Tom Higgins is a journalist covering all aspects of the financial world, from investing and sustainability to pensions and personal finance. He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in June 2020 and has since written online and in print for the Financial Times group, New Statesman media group, numerous trade magazines, and has worked with Bloomberg on social media projects. He has a deep interest in environmentalism, social change, and data-driven storytelling. He can be found tweeting at @tomhuwhig.