Fear of missing out fuels record house prices in April

Average house prices have climbed about £20,000 in the last year, the Halifax says, as the buying frenzy prompted by the stamp duty holiday continues.

Prices are up 8.2% in the last 12 months, the highest annual growth rate for five years, it said.

Altura mortgage broker Rob Gill said “fear of missing out” (FOMO) was driving the surge.

“There’s a fear among buyers that they could miss out if they don’t hurry up and buy before prices spiral,” he said.

The Halifax said that prices rose sharply in April, up by 1.4% compared with March. The average price of a UK home hit £258,204, a record high.

At the Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the stamp duty holiday to June. The property purchase tax has been suspended on the first £500,000 of all sales in England and Northern Ireland since July to support the market.

“The stamp duty holiday continues to add impetus to an extremely active market, magnifying the current shortage of available homes as buyers aim to take advantage of the Government scheme,” said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax.

He predicted that the influence of the stamp duty holiday will fade gradually over the coming months as it is tapered out but that low stock levels, low interest rates and continued demand is likely to continue to underpin prices in the market.

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