The UK's average house price increased by 8% over the year to July 2021, down from 13.1% in the year to June 2021, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

The average house price was £256,000 in July, £19,000 higher than the average price seen the previous year, and follows the record high of £265,000 in the year to June 2021.

Temporary changes to stamp duty land tax (SDLT) may have allowed sellers to request higher prices as buyers' overall costs were reduced, the ONS said.

The SDLT holiday began tapering off in July 2021 and waives tax on residential property purchases worth up to £250,000, down from £500,000. It will officially end on 30 September 2021, after which point the previous threshold of £125,000 will resume.

The ONS said:

"The growth in house prices slowed substantially after the stamp duty holiday on more expensive properties came to an end."

Krishan Shah, researcher at the Resolution Foundation said "there was far more at play in the housing market currently than just the stamp duty holiday."

The left-leaning think tank suggested that strong house price performance is more likely due to "historically low interest rates globally and changing housing preferences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic".

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