House Price Watch May 2021
The average rate of annual house price growth nears double digits this month with demand from buyers massively outstripping the supply of homes for sale. Demand has been fueled by the stamp duty holiday and people placing a higher priority on housing as a result of the pandemic.
What’s happening nationally
Annual house price growth is the highest it has been in our reporting history. House prices are up on average +0.4% in the past month and +9.8% in the past year.
Indices based on:
Land Registry – registered property transactions in April. Nationwide & Halifax – mortgage valuations in May. Rightmove – asking prices posted on Rightmove in May.
*Rightmove is not included in the index average as the basis for its index is different (asking price vs agreed sale price)
|Index reports:||Monthly change||Annual change|
House prices in your area
Annual house prices have increased across the country, with double digit rises in the North East (+16.9%), Wales (+15.6%), Yorkshire & Humber (+12%), the North West (+11.8%) and the West Midlands (11.2%).
The most expensive regions in the UK are London (£492K), the South East (£342K) and the East of England (£313K).
Liverpool and Manchester are the cities which have seen the biggest rise in house prices this year.
Regional house price data source: Land Registry April 2021 data and City house price data source: Hometrack April 2021 data
|UK Region||Average price £||Monthly change||Annual change|
|East of England|
|Yorkshire and The Humber|
|UK City||Average price||Annual change|
Transactions remain at their highest level since 2007. Transactions in May dipped (now on par with November 2020 levels).
It continues to be the best sellers’ market in years, with Rightmove reporting buyer demand up 50% on 2019 pre-pandemic levels.
Demand continues to massively exceed the supply of homes for sale, especially in Northern regions.
Housing stock has been further depleted this month as new seller instructions have declined over the past month.
How busy is the market?
- Not busy
- Very busy
- Transactions at record levels
- Total number of transactions 115K
- -4% from last month
- +138% higher than May last year
Homes for sale vs homebuyers
- Good housing stock
- Normal housing stock
- Low housing stock
- Buyer enquiries up (+32% RICS)
- Seller enquiries down (-23% RICS)
- Average stock per agent 56; lowest stock in 6 months (incl under offer/ Sold STC Rightmove)
Average speed of sale
- 45 days to find a buyer (12 month average 59 days Rightmove)
What the experts say
“Highest house price growth since August, 2014. Our research indicates the stamp duty holiday is not the key factor, though it is clearly impacting the timing of transactions. Amongst those either moving home or considering a move, three quarters (75%) said this would have been the case even if the stamp duty holiday had not been extended. It is shifting housing preferences which is continuing to drive activity, with people reassessing their needs in the wake of the pandemic.”
“Market activity continues to be boosted by the stamp duty holiday, with prospective buyers racing to complete purchases in time to benefit from the maximum tax break ahead of June’s deadline. For some homebuyers, lockdown restrictions have resulted in an unexpected build-up of savings, which can now be deployed to fund bigger deposits for bigger properties, potentially pushing property prices even higher.”
“The pandemic has given a greater focus on the home. In 2020 we saw a surge in southern coastal and rural areas. So far, 2021 is proving to be the year of the northern mover, not only satisfying their pent-up housing needs, but in doing so also narrowing some of the huge price gap with London. Now average prices in London are 2.9 times higher than those in the north, the smallest ratio since 2013.”
“The stamp duty holiday and the pandemic-led ‘search for space’ are set to lead to the highest level of homes changing hands for 14 years. More than 1.5 million homes are expected to change hands this year making it one of the top 10 busiest years since 1959.”
“May 2021 RICS UK Residential Survey results point to a widening disparity between demand and supply, with the flow of new listings deteriorating over the month while buyer enquiries rose at a solid rate. These dynamics continue to exert a considerable amount of upward pressure on house prices.”