UK house price growth accelerated further in November as stamp duty holiday entices buyers

Joanna Bourke
·2-min read
<p>A stamp duty holiday was introduced in July 2020</p> (PA)

A stamp duty holiday was introduced in July 2020

(PA)

Annual UK house price growth rose to 6.5% last month, the highest rate since January 2015, according to mortgage lender Nationwide.

Britain’s housing market has benefited from the introduction of a stamp duty holiday, enticing a number of buyers. Annual house price growth accelerated from 5.8% in October to 6.5% in November, figures showed today.

House prices rose by 0.9% month-on-month in November after taking account of seasonal effects, following a 0.8% rise in October.

The average house price stood at £229,721 last month.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief Economist, said: “Housing market activity has remained robust. October saw property transactions rise to 105,600, the highest level since 2016.”

He added: “The outlook remains highly uncertain and will depend heavily on how the pandemic and the measures to contain it evolve as well as the efficacy of policy measures implemented to limit the damage to the wider economy. Behavioural shifts as a result of Covid-19 may provide support for housing market activity, while the stamp duty holiday will continue to provide a near term boost by bringing purchases forward.”

But he added: “Housing market activity is likely to slow in the coming quarters, perhaps sharply, if the labour market weakens as most analysts expect, especially once the stamp duty holiday expires at the end of March.”

The housing market was hit in March when firms had to close estate agent branches and viewings were off the cards for the lockdown. But restrictions were eased in May, and firms reported pent-up demand for homes.

Transaction numbers were also boosted by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July introducing a stamp duty holiday. That runs until March 31 next year.

Simon Gammon, managing partner at Knight Frank Finance, said: “The nation is engaged in a mass rethink over where to live following two lockdowns, all while interest rates are ultra-low.”

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