House prices have soared by 13 per cent since the Covid pandemic began. After a surprise 2.1 per cent leap in August, the average cost of a home is now close to £250,000.
It was the second largest monthly rise in 15 years, with prices up 11 per cent compared to August 2020, according to figures from Nationwide. Experts had predicted the red-hot property market would cool as the generous stamp duty holiday is wound down. And prices typically dip over the summer, with many buyers and sellers on holiday. But the ultra-cheap mortgages, a lack of properties and high demand from buyers looking to take advantage of remaining pandemic tax breaks saw average prices hit £248,857 in August.
Many have also been able to bring forward plans to buy homes after squirrelling away an extra £230billion in savings since the end of March 2020.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said: 'The strength [of the market] may reflect strong demand from those buying a property priced between £125,000 and £250,000 who are looking to take advantage of the stamp duty relief in place until the end of September. Lack of supply is also likely to be a key factor behind August's price increase, with estate agents reporting low numbers of properties on their books.'
Money Mail Editor