Commenting on the ONS house price index, Harris said: “In contrast to early on in the pandemic when lenders pulled up the drawbridges, there is an eagerness to lend, with average mortgage rates on two- and five-year fixes falling to all-time lows.”
He added, with twice as many mortgages available now compared with a year ago, borrowers are in a strong position and the demand continues.
Nick Barnes, head of research at Chestertons, said where August is traditionally a quieter month, the London market registered a 54 per cent increase in sales against July.
“We expect activity to pick up as we move into the autumn as there is still substantial unsatisfied demand. Buyers are especially looking for larger properties with gardens and are still able to take advantage of very attractive mortgage offerings.”
The pace of house price rises dropped from 13.1 per cent to eight per cent from June to July, as the biggest stamp duty holiday discount ended. But the patchwork effect continues with the North East at 10.8 per cent seeing the UK’s strongest price inflation with London at 2.2 per cent showing the weakest.
On 3 March 2021, the stamp duty holiday was extended to June this year in England and Northern Ireland with the threshold falling to £250,000 until the 30 September.
From 1 October 2021, the stamp duty thresholds will revert to what they were before 8 July 2020. The tax holiday for Scotland ended on 31 March 2021 and in Wales on 30 June 2021.
The countries across Great Britain show differing levels of inflation in July, with Scotland leading the charge with growth of 14.6 per cent, Wales at 11.6 per cent, Northern Ireland at nine per cent and England with seven per cent.