Land Registry has published its first House Price Index since May 2020 following the decision to suspend the index as a result of the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The figures, which cover April 2020, shows that on average, house prices had fallen by 0.3% since March 2020. Whilst on an annual basis prices have risen by 2.5% – taking the average property value to £250,874.
On a regional basis the East of England experienced the greatest monthly price rise, up by 1.5% whilst the South West saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 2.5%.
HM Land Registry to resume publication of UK HPI
Annually the East Midlands experienced the greatest annual price rise, up by 4.7% whilst the North East saw the lowest annual price growth, down by 2.7%.
Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “The year-on-year increase in property values in April tells what is now an historic tale of a market which was getting back on its feet, after the long running Brexit debacle.
“This positive data reflects the tail end of the Boris Bounce but it’s not until we get the data in relation to activity in July that we will get a really clear picture of the subsequent impact the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s response thereto has had on property values.
“Today’s data is as positive as it is irrelevant. Expect this to change.”
Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, added: “The transactions data shows a 2.6% increase in house prices overall in the year to April but it is worth noting that this increase is based on lower transactions data than normal. It reflects only those transactions that were able to continue in an otherwise restricted time.
“The value of a UK average property price is of limited value as there is not one single housing market. For example, prices increased the most in the East Midlands, while growth in the North East was negative during this period.
“As for what next: since April, the temporary stamp duty holiday has encouraged many more home buyers and investors to take the plunge.
“Anecdotal reports suggest a frenzy in the housing market. This will feed into future data, with a time lag. As a result of such lags and the influence of temporary policy influences, it is a particularly difficult time to forecast the future.”
Land Registry will now be publishing the figures for the months missed in regular intervals until October. The May 2020 UK HPI will be published on Wednesday 2 September 2020.