UK house prices

PHOTO: Property values were 6.5% higher last month, or £15,430 in cash terms, according to latest data. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Average house prices in the UK soared to a record high of £254,606 ($348,885) in March, a 1.1% jump month-on-month after a subdued start to the year.

It marked the first rise since November last year.

According to Halifax’s house price index, which tracks the prices of houses on which it offers mortgages, property values were 6.5% higher last month, or £15,430 in cash terms, compared with a year ago at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the latest quarter, ending 31 March, house prices edged 0.3% higher than the preceding three months, data showed.

“Casting our minds back 12 months, few could have predicted quite how well the housing market would ride out the impact of the pandemic so far, let alone post growth of more than £1,000 per month on average,” Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said.

“The continuation of government support measures has been key in boosting confidence in the housing market.”

In the spring budget last month, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland, as well as unveiling new mortgages with just 5% deposits.