House prices have raised the roof in the December ONS house price index, buoyed by the pandemic-induced stamp duty holiday and the nation's need to live AND work at home.
Lee Pickett, a housing sector specialist and real estate partner at global legal business, DWF, comments as the December ONS figures are released today. He said: "The UK's annual house price growth is at the highest level since late 2014, with today's data showing an increase of 8.5 per cent over the year to December 2020. This means the average home is now £252,000, a staggering £20,000 more than in December 2019.
"The North West region experienced the largest growth in prices, up 11.2 per cent, while London saw growth of just 3.5 per cent.
"House prices ended the year on a high, and we expect that this will continue into 2021 not least until the stamp duty holiday (in place for England and Northern Ireland) remains in operation and possibly thereafter, as home buyers' preferences have been greatly influenced by the pandemic.
"The message from the UK Government to stay at home has meant that home owners are spending a considerable amount of time in their homes and this understandably has led to a desire to ensure their property suits their new needs. Buyers are seeking homes not only to live in now, but for many, they will need a home to work in too.
"Affordability for first time buyers remains a serious issue, and with house prices now peaking at £252,000, the doorway to home ownership may remain closed for some time for many."
DWF is a global legal business operating from 31 key locations with over 4,000 people. The Company became the first Main Market Premium Listed legal business on the London Stock Exchange in March 2019.