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02 September 2020

UK House Prices Bounce

Ben Staniforth, Research Analyst, Redmayne Bentley

UK house prices have staged a rather rapid recovery from the declines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, up 2% in August compared to the previous month and up 3.7% on the same month last year. This marks the fastest monthly increase in house prices in more than 16 years as buyers return to the market as lockdown measures are eased, sending house prices to all-time highs.

The impressive rise can be mainly attributed to two schemes; the stamp duty holiday and furlough. The stamp duty holiday, now in place from July until the end of March 2021, has allowed buyers to purchase properties without the threat (or with a reduced burden) of stamp duty. Homes purchased under £500,000 will now carry zero stamp duty, causing buyers to flock to the market to take advantage of the discount. Furthermore, the furlough scheme has allowed consumers to continue to make their mortgage and rental payments throughout lockdown, with many now re-assessing their financial situation in light of the pandemic and moving to a new house as a result. This has meant that the government has effectively propped up the housing and labour markets, areas which would have suffered greatly if left untouched, which has in turn helped house prices stage a quick recovery.

However, with the increased demand fuelling the rise, it is unlikely that this kind of growth can be sustained. With the furlough scheme expected to end in late October and the stamp duty holiday finishing in March of next year, we would expect rising unemployment and increased costs associated with buying a house to negatively impact price growth as demand falters.

Please note that investments and income arising from them can fall as well as rise in value.
 
UK House Prices Bounce
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