Halifax said UK house price in 2020 ended on average 6% higher than in 2019. The pent-up demand after the first national lockdown and the government’s stamp duty holiday triggered a homebuying boom.
The average price of a house in the UK reached a record high of £253,374 in December. December figure is little changed from November’s average price, due to a monthly rise of just 0.2 per cent. However, the growth is becoming slow and prices may fall over the year, according to Halifax.
The average UK house was worth £14,295 more in December last year than the same month in 2019.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley said:
“Prices soared as a result of pent-up demand, a desire among buyers for greater space and the time-limited incentive of the stamp duty holiday,”
However, the lender further revealed the 0.2% rise in prices in December compared with November was the lowest rate of growth in the past six months of continuous gains.
Radstock Property co-founder George Franks said while unemployment levels are a threat to property values. “We believe demand will remain relatively strong as it still costs less to own than to rent and borrowing is extraordinarily cheap.”
James Pendleton property expert Lucy Pendleton also commented:
“It must be beginning to dawn on the chancellor that the stamp duty tax break was completely unnecessary.
“Any sensible estate agent is hoping the market puts on the brakes before we end up in bubble territory. A housing market has to take the economy with it ultimately, and the threat to the labour market in the second quarter of this year is a major concern.