According to the latest Nationwide UK House Price Index, detached property prices have performed best through the pandemic. Detached homes have increased by nearly £68,000 since the pandemic started in March 2020, meanwhile the average flat price is up by £24,000.
The latest Nationwide House Price Index shows UK house price growth soared to its highest level since in 18 years. Annual house price growth in March of this year went up by 14.3%, from 12.6% in February. Wales was the strongest performing region whilst London was the weakest. Prices rose by 1.1% month-on-month; this is the eighth consecutive monthly increase. Scotland saw a 12% year-on-year rise in house prices, the strongest rate of growth since the third quarter of 2007.
A typical home in the UK now costs £265,312 – a new record. Prices have increased by over £33,000 in the last 12 months with prices currently 21% higher than before Covid19 struck in March of 2020. We have seen an incredible amount of momentum in the market over the last two years, with supply unable to meet demand – this is despite the pressure on households with the rising cost of living and the recent rises in borrowing costs with two interest rate hikes. The combination of high demand, historically low interest rates and a shortage of homes for sale has steadily pushed prices up.
The number of mortgages approved for homebuyers was steadily high in February 2022 with 71,000 mortgage approvals. This is just short of 10% above pre-pandemic levels. This could be due to a combination of things including the post-pandemic re-prioritisation, with a new norm of hybrid working and the quest for more space, plus strong labour conditions and falling unemployment rates. In addition, home buyers have managed to save money during the pandemic with travel suspended, closure of entertainment venues reduced luxury spending patterns.
Despite the recent rises, it is widely thought that the housing market will slow down and a squeeze on income set to increase with rising living costs, fuel price rises, and inflation and interest rates expected to rise even further.
Between January 2020 January 2022, the average price of a detached property increased by 22.6% – £68,000 in cash terms. Meanwhile, flats only increased by 14.1% – £24,000 in cash terms. It is becoming increasingly difficult for existing homeowners to trade up, with the price gaps between different property types now at an all-time high. It’s more challenging for those looking to move from flats to terraced houses, with the price gap doubling since March 2020, from around £12,000 to over £25,000. Many households have managed to bridge this gap by moving to a cheaper region.