In Focus

UK house prices: average hits £350,000 milestone

The jump has been partly driven by a ‘huge mismatch’ between supply and demand

The UK’s property market has hit a historic milestone with the average price of a house exceeding £350,000 for the first time.

According to data released by property website Rightmove, the typical asking price for a house in the UK was £354,564 in March – a 1.7% (£5,760) increase since February. The average monthly rise is the largest seen at this time of year since March 2004, pushing the annual rate of increase to 10.4%. All regions and countries except London and Scotland are now up more than 10% annually.

The jump in asking price was “partly driven by a huge mismatch between supply and demand”, with “more than twice as many buyers as sellers”, The Guardian reported. For sellers, the chance of finding a buyer in the first week is “higher than it has ever been for this time of year, and twice as likely compared with the same period in 2019”.

This is the “strongest spring sellers’ market that we have ever seen”, Rightmove said. All sectors are experiencing “very brisk conditions” and it expects the strong market to continue until “economic forces combine to move the supply and demand balance closer towards equilibrium”.

The boom may settle in the coming months as economic pressures begin to bite, City A.M. reported. “There are headwinds that seem likely to remove the current market froth in the second half of the year,” said Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data. “We’ve just seen interest rates rise again, and there are further incremental increases forecast for the year which will raise mortgage rates for some.” 

Rightmove March 2022 house price index regional trends

Graphic: rightmove.co.uk

UK average increases by £24,000 in a year

According to official data published by HM Land Registry and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average house price in the UK in January 2022 was £273,762 – £24,000 higher than this time last year. This is an annual price rise of 9.6%.

In England average house prices increased over the year by 9.4% to £291,560, while in Wales the average rose by 13.9% to £206,251, in Scotland to £183,000 (10.8%) and in Northern Ireland to £159,000 (7.9%).

Typical house prices across England, and across Wales, are now at record levels, the London Evening Standard reported.

“We are continuing to see strong annual growth in house prices across the UK, with the biggest rises seen in Wales, while London continues to be relatively sluggish,” said ONS house prices statistician Ceri Lewis. “UK rental prices also continue to rise at a rapid pace, with their highest annual growth in over five years. Once again, we are seeing price climbs across the board with all nations and regions seeing increases.”

Average price by property type for England 

Property typeJanuary 2022January 2021Difference %
Detached£459,987£409,29912.4%
Semi-detached£278,310£252,17110.4%
Terraced£236,083£217,3538.6%
Flat/maisonette£243,827£233,3024.5%
Overall£291,560£266,5889.4%

Average price by property type for Wales 

Property typeJanuary 2022January 2021Difference %
Detached£319,526£276,41515.6%
Semi-detached£199,736£175,32613.9%
Terraced£159,520£140,08113.9%
Flat/maisonette£130,738£122,3746.8%
Overall£206,251£181,11813.9%

Source: Gov.UK

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