UK HPI Reaction: Covid-19 had limited impact between February and March

The UK House Price Index for March 2020 has been published by HM Land Registry and the Office for National Statistics.

It shows that on average, house prices fell by 0.2% between February and March. The annual price rise was recorded art 2.1%, meaning the average property in the UK was valued at £231,855 in March.

The March data shows that in England, prices dropped by 0.1% when compared to February. Regional data highlighted the following trends:

  • The South West experienced the greatest monthly price rise, up by 2.0%
  • Yorkshire and the Humber saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 3.6%
  • London experienced the greatest annual price rise, up by 4.7%
  • Yorkshire and the Humber saw the lowest annual price growth, down by 1.0%

In Wales, meanwhile, Wales shows, typical property prices dropped by 2.8% between February and March 2020. An annual price rise of 1.1% took the average property value in Wales to £161,684.

Reacting to the figures, Neil Cobbold, chief sales officer at PayProp, commented: “These figures show that the spread of Covid-19 had a limited impact on the market between February and March,  with a monthly house price dip of just 0.1% in England and 0.2% across England and Wales.”

“Several regions experienced solid growth between February and March, including the South West, the South East and London. These figures are likely to reflect the ‘Boris bounce’ and increased Brexit certainty, which combined to have a positive impact on the market in the early stages of the year before the pandemic took hold.”

“The West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber recorded notable average price decreases between February and March. This could be down to low demand in these areas, meaning competition for properties was reduced and therefore price growth was not as strong,” he said.

“There remains a possibility that average property prices will dip over the next few months as the market recovers from a period of inactivity. This could present buy-to-let investors with an opportunity to expand their portfolios. Letting agencies will therefore need to be on hand to advise them on the acquisition process.”

“It’s understandable that the UK House Price Index has been postponed until further notice due to the significantly reduced number of transactions in April while the country was in lockdown. Hopefully, there will be plenty of statistical analysis over the next few months so we can start to see the true impact of Covid-19 on the housing market,” Cobbold concluded.