Housing market benefits from post-lockdown ‘mini-boom’

The stamp duty holiday has had an immediate impact on the housing market. Picture: Getty Images/iSto

The stamp duty holiday has had an immediate impact on the housing market. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

British property prices have hit a record high thanks to a housing boom kick-started by the stamp duty holiday.

According to Rightmove, the average asking price for a property coming to market in Britain hit £320,265 this month – the highest since the portal’s first report in 2001.

Prices were also up 2.4 per cent on March’s pre-lockdown figure and 3.7 per cent year-on-year; in the East of England, prices were up 1.8 per cent since March and 2.5 per cent year-on-year.

The portal also recorded a 75 per cent increase in year-on-year buyer enquiries.

Properties are being snapped up faster, too: 44 per cent of new listings that came up for sale in the first month after the market reopened in England on May 13 have already been marked ‘sale agreed’, compared to 34 per cent from the equivalent dates in 2019.

The number of monthly sales agreed in England is also up 15 per cent on last year, and in the five days after the stamp duty announcement it jumped to 35 per cent up on 2019.

Rightmove’s Miles Shipside said: “The busy until interrupted spring market has now picked up where it left off and has been accelerated by both time-limited stamp duty holidays and by homeowners reappraising their homes and lifestyles because of the lockdown.

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“The strength of buyer demand has contributed to record prices, with the 3.7 per cent annual rate of increase being the highest for over three-and-a-half years.

“These figures are the earliest indicator of house price trends. They show on average prices gently rising not falling, and this will be reflected in the coming months in other house price reports.”