The UK’s Average House Price Just Reached A Record High

Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
It's no secret that getting on the property ladder is incredibly difficult without help from the bank of mum and dad. Forever renting is fast becoming the new normal as house prices continue to rise.
In fact, the average house price in the UK has just reached £250,000 for the first time, according to Nationwide. This represents a hefty 9.9% year-on-year increase.
Since the pandemic began, the average house price has risen by more than £30,000, making the market even more prohibitive for first-time buyers. Even the end of the stamp duty holiday on 30th September hasn't halted the ongoing rise, with prices increasing by a further 0.7% in October.
"Demand for homes has remained strong, despite the expiry of the stamp duty holiday," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist. "Indeed, mortgage applications remained robust at 72,645 in September, more than 10% above the monthly average recorded in 2019. Combined with a lack of homes on the market, this helps to explain why price growth has remained robust."
Thankfully, recent figures from Rightmove have revealed that there are still some relatively affordable city centre hotspots in the UK, with Leeds and Sheffield leading the way.
Despite the huge price rises since March 2020, Nationwide's Robert Gardner said the future of the UK property market looks "extremely uncertain" with the government's furlough scheme about to come to an end.
"If the labour market remains resilient, conditions may stay fairly buoyant in the coming months – especially as the market continues to have momentum and there is scope for ongoing shifts in housing preferences as a result of the pandemic to continue to support activity," he said.
“However, a number of factors suggest the pace of activity may slow. It is still unclear how the wider economy will respond to the withdrawal of government support measures. Consumer confidence has weakened in recent months, partly as a result of a sharp increase in the cost of living."
So if buying a house remains the dream for you, it could pay to keep a close eye on the market in the coming months.