House prices increase by 2.2% in December
Average UK house prices increased by 2.2% over the year to December 2019, up from 1.7% in November, according to the latest UK House Price Index.
For the first time since February 2018, all regions have seen a positive annual growth rate.
Yorkshire and the Humber was the English region with the highest annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 3.9%. This was followed by the East Midlands, increasing by 2.8%.
The lowest annual growth was in the South East of England, where prices increased by 1.2%, followed by the West Midlands, where prices increased by 1.4% over the year.
London house prices increased by 2.3% over the year, up from 0.4% in November 2019.
London house prices remain the most expensive at an average of £484,000. The North East continued to have the lowest average house price, at £131,000, and is the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak of July 2007.
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, commented: “Normal service has most definitely been resumed. Such a resounding return to normality at the end of 2019 shows just how far the housing market has come since the dark days of a year ago.
“London, for so long the fallen idol of the national property landscape, has powered back not just to growth, but to become the fourth best performing English region in 2019.
“Every part of the UK saw average prices rise in 2019 – delivering a steady progress that would have seemed unthinkable during the depths of Britain’s post-referendum wilderness.
“True, much of that growth came during a sprint finish to the year rather than the stop-start first half. But what matters more is that the momentum has clearly carried on into the start of 2020.
“Both buyers and sellers appear to have a renewed sense of clarity and purpose, and in many areas prices are playing catch up.
“With both demand and supply picking up, estate agents and newly energised buyers are now grappling with a tricky question – what is the new normal for prices?
“Sellers should beware of getting carried away by the idea of a gravity-defying Boris bounce. And buyers need to remember that as the market unclogs, competition for good homes will increase – so they need to be strategic in their approach, or risk missing out.”
Source: Financial Reporter