According to data from July 2021’s Halifax House Price Index, Wales recorded a nearly 14% increase in annual house prices compared to this time last year.
Wales set its highest numbers in over 15 years, boasting a 13.8% yearly increase. Along with Wales, Yorkshire also posted its highest annual figures (11%) for more than 16 years.
Across the rest of the UK, though, the annual rise was a modest 7.6% (down from the lofty 8.7% in June). In London, annual inflation rose by just 2.5%, whilst gains in the South East and Eastern England remain amongst the lowest in the UK.
The average UK house price now stands at £261,221, making a slight 0.4% increase from the previous month, but still more than £18,500 higher than a year ago.
Commenting on this month’s data, Halifax’s Managing Director, Russell Galley, said: “House prices rose by 0.4% in July to add £1,122 to the cost of the average property, pulling back some of the ground lost during June.”
Russel adds: “Annual price growth fell to +7.6%, its lowest level since March. This easing was somewhat expected given the strength of price inflation seen last summer, as the market began its recovery from the first lockdown, and with activity supported by the start of the stamp duty holiday.
“Recent months have been characterised by historically high volumes of buyer activity, with June the busiest month for mortgage completions since 2008. This has been fuelled both by the ‘race for space’ and the time-limited stamp duty break. With the latter now entering its final stages (the zero percent rate only applies to the first £250,000 of the purchase price, before reverting back to standard rates from October), buyer activity should continue to ease over the coming months, and a steadier period for the market may lie ahead.
“Latest industry figures show instructions for sale are falling and estate agents are experiencing a drop in their available stock. This general lack of supply should help to support prices in the near term, as will the exceptionally low cost of borrowing and continued strong customer demand.
“Although there remains some uncertainty over the impact on employment from the unwinding of government support schemes, on balance the risks to the macro-environment are receding, with consumer confidence improving, the labour market recovering, and the economy expanding as restrictions are lifted. Overall, assuming a continuation of recent economic trends, we expect the housing market to remain solid over the next few months, with annual price growth continuing to slow but remaining well into positive territory by the end of the year.”