Average house prices increased by 11.7% across England and Wales in the year to April 2021, according to e.surv Chartered Surveyors’ House Price Index.

On a monthly basis, average property prices rose by 0.7% between March and April 2021.

Overall, the average price of a house in England and Wales was £341,462 at the end of April.

The North West has taken over the top spot as the region with the highest rate of annual house price growth, at 15.7%, pushing the South West into joint second place alongside Yorkshire and the Humber, both at 14.2%.

The West and East Midlands have swapped positions this month, with annual growth rates of 13.9% and 13.7% respectively, followed by the North East in sixth place, its highest position amongst the regions of the last 12 months.

Wales follows in seventh place, with a growth rate of 12.2%.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “This month, our data shows that on an annualised basis, prices grew by nearly 12% (11.7%) in April, the highest year-on-year growth since January 2005, and this despite England and Wales having been in various states of lockdown and economic contraction since March 2020.

“This gives a real sense of how the housing market is performing, compared to the wider economy. It is also worth noting that HMRC monthly property transactions data for UK home sales increased in March 2021 to their highest ever level.

“The stamp duty holiday added considerable impetus to a market that already reflected a shortage of available homes for buyers.

“Our index reflects buyers’ decisions taken two to three months earlier than the actual completion of the house ‘sale’.

“This means April data points to decisions made in January and February when purchasers were concerned that the stamp duty holiday was about to end, with any purchase then being made too late to qualify for the tax savings.

“While anyone still in the midst of buying and selling will be hoping to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, its withdrawal could be less painful because of the introduction of the government’s high LTV lending scheme.

“This should support buyers currently facing affordability issues and offset some of the impact of the stamp duty withdrawal.

“The scheme has encouraged many lenders to re-enter this market so competition will also be keen. We can expect low stock levels, low interest rates and continued demand, in part supported by government intervention, to support prices notwithstanding the end of the furlough scheme in June.”