Rural locations continue to out-perform the rest of the UK

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on the latest ONS/Land Registry House Price Index:

“The property market usually cools off in December, but this year was different. On the ground, we continued to see a backlog of buyers who entered the market following the first lockdown, as well as new buyers looking to get ahead of the Stamp Duty Tax deadline at the end of March. As a result, according to the ONS, prices boomed at +8.5% or up £19,708 on the year, to reach a record high. Whilst today’s numbers are fascinating and are in line with the general upward trajectory we witnessed in the market in December, we may want to take the figures with a pinch of salt due to the unusually high rate of high price inflation reported.
“Detached properties continued to be favoured by lockdown buyers, who after too much time spent indoors, accelerated plans to leave suburban city dwellings in search for larger homes with more space for a home office and a private garden. As a result, more rural locations over an hour from the UK’s major employment hubs continue to out-perform the rest of the UK – with Richmondshire, the Derbyshire Dales and Winchester topping the charts for price growth. This reflects a growing trend of would-be commuters moving further out to get more bang for their buck.
“On a regional level, the North West registered the highest house price growth at just over 11%. Our branches in this part of the country witnessed an exceptionally busy Q4 which undoubtedly put upward pressure on prices.
“Despite an untraditionally busy winter, we expect demand to hold steady throughout spring and summer. No matter what the Chancellor decides on stamp duty. However, keeping momentum among buyers to avoid chains collapsing is still important for the country’s economic recovery, and I do urge the Chancellor to consider how to ease the market out of the stamp duty holiday to avoid the cliff edge we’re currently hurtling towards.”
- UK average house prices increased by 8.5% over the year to December 2020, up from 7.1% in November 2020, to stand at a record high of £252,000; this is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since October 2014
- The North West was the English region to see the highest annual growth in average house prices (11.2%), while London saw the lowest (3.5%)