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    UK House Price Index: House Prices Hit 5 Year High


    British house prices increased last month at the fastest annual rate for five years, helped by finance minister Rishi Sunak’s extension of tax cut for buyers, mortgage lender Halifax said on Monday.

    House prices rose by 8.2% in annual terms in April, Halifax said, the biggest gain since April 2016 and following a 6.5% increase in March.

    In April alone, house prices rose by 1.4% – the biggest monthly jump in seven months.

    Britain’s housing market has boomed since the lifting of a first coronavirus lockdown in the spring of 2020 and was given further impetus by Sunak’s announcement on March 3 that he was extending the cut in stamp duty land tax for buyers.

    he first 500,000 pounds ($703,200) of any property purchase in England or Northern Ireland will remain exempt from stamp duty until the end of June, and there will be a 250,000 pound tax-free allowance until the end of September.

    Sunak also announced a new government mortgage guarantee scheme to ease deposit constraints for prospective home-buyers.

    Last week the Bank of England reported a record increase in the value of mortgage lending during March, while mortgage lender Nationwide said house prices jumped by 2.1% in April, their biggest monthly rise in more than 17 years.

    “We do expect recent levels of activity to be sustained over the short-term as buyers continue to search for homes with more space and potentially better suited for their new working patterns,” Halifax managing director Russell Galley said.

    “We do expect recent levels of activity to be sustained over the short-term as buyers continue to search for homes with more space and potentially better suited for their new working patterns,” Halifax managing director Russell Galley said.

    Source: Reuters