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House prices hit fastest growth rate in four years

  • 16/12/2020
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House prices hit fastest growth rate in four years
House prices continue to surge to new highs with the typical home rising in value by £13,000 in the 12 months to October to be worth £245,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).


The ONS data highlighted the continued increase in demand since the re-opening of the housing market producing the fastest annual rate of growth in four years.

Prices rose by 5.4 per cent on average in the year to October an increase on the 4.3 per cent rise seen in the year to September.

On a month-on-month basis there was a 0.9 per cent rise in October, a slight slowing from the 1.5 per cent increase in September.

Larger properties continued to dominate the market, with the ONS suggesting the pandemic may have caused house buyers to reassess their housing preferences.

The average price of detached properties increased by 6.8 per cent in the year to October, in comparison to flats and maisonettes increasing by 2.3 per cent over the same period.


Scotland and Wales leading the way

England, Scotland and Wales all saw record high average prices in October, with Northern Ireland’s most recent average house price in Quarter three being the highest since Q4 2008.

Scotland led the way with an increase of six per cent over the year to October 2020, up from four per cent in the year to September 2020, with the average house price in Scotland now at £163,000.

Wales was close behind with a 5.8 per cent rise over the last 12 months, up from 4.4 per cent in September 2020, taking the average house price in Wales to £176,000.

And the average house price in England increased 5.4 per cent up from 4.4 per cent in the year to September 2020, with the average house price now at £262,000.

In Q3 the average house price in Northern Ireland increased by 2.4 per cent over the year and it remains the cheapest UK country to purchase a property in, with the average house price at £143,000.

Every region of England saw at least a three per cent rise in the average house price.

The East Midlands, North West, and Yorkshire and The Humber experienced the joint highest annual growth in average house prices at 6.6 per cent, with the South West also over six per cent growth.


Stamp duty cut pushing up prices

The ONS acknowledged that typically, a house purchase can take six to eight weeks to reach completion, therefore, this price data will reflect agreements after the stamp duty change.

It highlighted that the tax holiday may allow sellers to request higher prices as buyers’ overall costs are reduced.

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of SPI Capital, noted that even though the numbers are a little dated, they show a more complete picture than other house price indices.

“This is important, as in 2020 in particular, heady house price increases have been reported. This alone has been known to influence people’s buying decisions, through a fear of missing out,” she said.

Harper added that the volume of transactions covered was still significantly below the previous year, with transactions in England 32.4 per cent lower than October 2019.



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