The average UK house price hit a new record high of £282,753 in March after increasing by nearly the equivalent of average earnings over the past year.
House prices have risen by 18.2%, or £43,577 on average, since the first UK lockdowns around two years ago, according to an index from Halifax.
Property values increased by 1.4% month-on-month, or £3,860 on average in cash terms, and were 11.0% higher than a year earlier.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “The new record price of £282,753 is up some £28,113 on a year ago, not far off average UK earnings over the same period (£28,860).
“The story behind such strong house price inflation remains unchanged: limited supply and strong demand, despite the prospect of increasing pressure on households’ finances.
“Although there is some recent evidence of more homes coming on to the market, the fundamental issue remains that too many buyers are chasing too few properties.”
He said that in the long-term “we know the performance of the housing market remains inextricably linked to the health of the wider economy”.
He added: “There is no doubt that households face a significant squeeze on real earnings, and the difficulty for policymakers in needing to support the economy yet contain inflation is now even more acute because of the impact of the war in Ukraine.
“Buyers are therefore dealing with the prospect of higher interest rates and a higher cost of living. With affordability metrics already extremely stretched, these factors should lead to a slowdown in house price inflation over the next year.”
The report said the impact of the pandemic on buyer demand can be seen when looking at different property types – with homes offering more space commanding bigger premiums.
Average prices for flats have increased by 10.6% or £15,404 over the past two years.
The average price of a detached property meanwhile has leapt by 21.3% or £77,717 over the same period.
Looking across the UK, the South West of England has overtaken Wales as the strongest performer in terms of annual price house inflation, Halifax said.
Average house prices in the South West were up by 14.6% annually in March – the region’s highest rate of annual increase since September 2004. The average house price there was £298,162, marking a record for the region.
While this is the first time since January 2021 that Wales has not recorded the UK’s highest annual growth, house price inflation there remains extremely strong, at 14.1%.
The average house price is £211,942 which is yet another all-time high for Wales, Halifax said.
House prices in Scotland also reached a new record average high of £194,621 although the rate of annual growth continued to slow, falling to 8.2% from 9.3% the previous month.
In the South East of England, average house prices have risen by £40,177 over the past year. This marks the first time any English region outside London has posted a £40,000-plus rise over just 12 months.
Here are average house prices in March and the annual increase, according to Halifax:
– East Midlands, £234,083, 12.3%
– Eastern England, £330,883, 11.7%
– London, £534,977, 5.9%
– North East, £162,692, 9.5%
– North West, £214,591, 10.8%
– Northern Ireland, £177,265, 13.0%
– Scotland, £194,621, 8.2%
– South East, £385,790, 11.6%
– South West, £298,162, 14.6%
– Wales, £211,942, 14.1%
– West Midlands, £238,647, 10.0%
– Yorkshire and Humber, £194,639, 9.5%