UK house prices logged a double-digit growth in May as the shift in homeowners’ preference boosted the property market activity, data published by the Nationwide Building Society showed on Tuesday.

House prices grew 10.9 percent year-on-year in May, faster than the 7.1 percent rise seen in April. This was the biggest increase since August 2014 and was better than the economists’ forecast of 9.2 percent.

On a monthly basis, house price growth eased to 1.8 percent from 2.3 percent in April. Nonetheless, this was the second consecutive rise and faster than the expected rate of 0.8 percent.

Average house prices rose to a record GBP 242,832 in May.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said, housing market activity is likely to remain fairly buoyant over the next six months as a result of the stamp duty extension and additional support for the labor market included in the Budget.

With the stock of homes on the market constrained, there is scope for annual house price growth to accelerate further in the coming months, especially given the low base for comparison in early summer last year, Gardner added.

Due to the first lockdown last year, housing transactions declined to a record low in April 2020. However, activity surged toward the end of the last year and into 2021.

Gardner observed that shifting housing preferences is continuing to drive activity, with people reassessing their needs in the wake of the pandemic.

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