Average UK house prices increased 8.9% in the year to April, but London registered the smallest annual growth, latest figures show.
Property demand has been high during much of the pandemic, as lockdowns prompted people to reassess housing needs, and a stamp duty holiday helped out a number of buyers.
The Office for National Statistics today said prices over the year increased 8.9%. That was smaller than the 9.9% rise in the year to March- the month when the stamp duty holiday had originally been scheduled to end, before being extended.
Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “The small drop in April doesn’t come as an enormous shock. The stamp duty holiday deadline sparked a frenzy, as buyers rushed to complete before the end of March.”
The ONS added that in the year to April London had the lowest annual growth (3.3%) for the fifth consecutive month.
However, as other reports have recently pointed out, prices in the capital were already extremely expensive, having experienced a boom following the global financial crisis.
Nick Leeming, chairman of estate agency group Jackson-Stops, said: “We saw 13 buyers chasing every instruction across our branches in April. These buyers are very unlikely to meet the Government’s stamp duty deadline and are proof that the market will remain strong during the second-half of the year, after the incentive has ended.”