According to the Land Registry, the average house price in Southampton rose to £221,979 in April, an increase of 6.5% from March. Prices across the South East rose by only 0.2%, with prices averaging £327,413. In the year to April, house prices in Southampton rose by 7.4% on average.
The March increase in Southampton is in contrast to the rest of the UK where the average house price was 0.2% lower than the previous month, at a cost of £234,612. UK house prices were up a modest 2.6% in the year to April.
Other local housing markets, in figures:
Average house price: £281,581 (1.1% decrease from March, steady in the year to April)
Average house price: £305,114 (3.6% increase from March, 3.3% rise in the year to April)
Average house price: £332,495 (1.8% decrease from March, 0.6% rise in the year to April)
Average house price: £349,323 (5.0% increase from March, 6.8% rise in the year to April)
Average house price: £409,865 (3.0% decrease from March, 0.6% rise in the year to April)
The Land Registry notes that these figures do not reflect the impact of the pandemic on the market as the sales process can take up to two months i.e. before COVID-19 lockdowns.
Looking at recent figures from Halifax and Nationwide, the UK as a whole saw average price increases of 1.6% and 1.7% respectively, in July. These rises may be attributed in part to the waiving of taxes on property purchases across the UK, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
For instance in England, the government introduced a Stamp Duty holiday from 8th July to 31st March 2021 making the first £500,000 of a property’s cost tax free - if a house costs less than £500,000 no duty will be payable.
Referring to its latest survey, the chief economist at RICS, Simon Rubinsohn noted that respondents cited job losses and the ending of support measures for the housing market in the long-term as reasons to be more cautious.
As reported in The Daily Echo, he said: “Significantly, some contributors are now even referencing the possibility of a boom followed by a bust.
Mr Rubinsohn added that people were showing a greater interest in properties with access to outdoor spaces due to the possibility of future lockdowns.
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, also struck a note of caution about the health of the housing market in the coming months.
He said: “Many people have already lost their jobs, despite the supportive government measures, while others will be concerned that they may still end up losing their job once the furlough scheme ends.”