House price rise since first lockdown revealed…

The price of the average home in the UK has risen by £43,577 since the start of the first lockdown two years ago, the Halifax has said.

The lender, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said the 18.2% rise took the cost of a typical home to £282,753.

The race for space from buyers was clear with a 21% rise in the price of detached homes compared with a 11% rise in flat prices over the same period.

A lack of homes on the market has helped to push up prices.

“The story behind such strong house price inflation remains unchanged: limited supply and strong demand, despite the prospect of increasing pressure on households’ finances,” said Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax.

“Although there is some recent evidence of more homes coming on to the market, the fundamental issue remains that too many buyers are chasing too few properties.”

Prices rose by 11% over the year to March, the Halifax said. Rival lender, the Nationwide, recorded a 14% rise in property values over the same 12 months – the fastest annual growth for 17 years.

However, a range of forecasters – including the Office for Budget Responsibility – expect the speed of increase to slow in the next few years.

Mr Galley said that in the long term “we know the performance of the housing market remains inextricably linked to the health of the wider economy”.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at estate agent Knight Frank, said: “We are presumably witnessing the current peak of UK house price growth.

“At some point in the near future the cost of living squeeze and rising mortgage rates will pull prices back down to earth. A shortage of property for sale has been instrumental in driving double-digit price growth, which is another situation that can’t continue indefinitely.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “While homeowners might feel better off on paper, for anyone trying to get on to the ladder, or move up it, this is pushing properties even further out of reach. Right now may not be a sensible time to stretch yourself.”