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UK house prices up 2.2% ONS report

house prices rising

The average UK house price rose by 2.2% to £235,000 in the year to December 2019, according to data collected by ONS.

Average house prices in England increased by 2.2% to £252,000.

Wales and Scotland both also recorded a 2.2% rise year-on-year, with average house prices increasing to £166,000 and £152,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland noted a 2.5% uplift, boosting average house prices to £140,000.

All regions saw a rise in average property prices in the year to December 2019; the South East of England recorded the lowest average increase, up 1.2%.

Average property prices in Yorkshire and Humber noted the greatest rise over the selected timeframe, growing by 3.9%.

Franz Doerr, founder and chief executive of flatfair, said: “The continued growth of rental prices is preventing renters from accessing the homes that they want.

“As the ‘Boris bounce’ has driven up house prices, we are seeing a continuing trend of tenants opting to rent for longer than ever before.

“However, rising rents, and the need to scrape together a large lump-sum deposit when moving are huge barriers that need addressing.

“With a growing number of landlords leaving the sector leading to a reduction in the available housing stock, action needs to be taken to make the rental market work better for tenants and landlords alike.”

Hedi Zidan, founder and chief executive of Nestify, added: “Today’s figures demonstrate that the UK rental market is resilient, and that demand remains strong.

“Our landlords are increasingly meeting tenants who are seeking a range of different accommodation solutions, durations and tenancy options.

“This means that in order to maximise the current UK housing stock, it’s vital landlords have access to a range of short, medium and long-term rental options.

“These figures demonstrate how integral professional landlords are to UK housing and it is our belief that they should be supported to provide the range of tenancies that the UK rental population so clearly crave.

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and sales agent, Benham and Reeves, stated: “Much has been made of the ‘Boris Bounce’ and there is no doubting that it spurred a huge uplift in market activity.

“While today’s figures display a slightly more muted market landscape in terms of actual sales, it is important to remember that even the most enthusiastic of buyers and sellers would struggle to get a transaction completed in the few short weeks between the election result and the end of the year.

“All in all a resilient show from the UK property market, particularly given the backdrop of political turbulence that has been prevalent for much of the last 12 months, and a foundation that should now see a strong performance for the year ahead following on from December’s election results.”

Jerald Solis, Director of Experience Invest

“There’s no denying the importance of today’s findings. Just like the FTSE 100, residential real estate has also experienced a surge in investment activity in the aftermath of last year’s general election. For the majority of 2019, house price growth was modest – most investors chose to adopt a “wait and see” approach until they had a better indication of how Brexit could play out. As today’s findings show, December provided the breakthrough the market was hoping for.

“In this low interest rate environment where demand for residential property is clearly strong, I am confident that house prices will continue to rise over the coming months.”

Paul Howells, CEO of Accumulate Capital

“The ONS findings for December reaffirm what other major indices have revealed in recent weeks – market demand for property is once again rising, driving up house prices and opening up new opportunities for buyers and sellers. Boris Johnson’s election victory has no doubt played a pivotal role, providing the political certainty and direction needed for domestic and international investors to complete on new real estate transactions.

“The question now is whether house prices will continue to rise over the coming months. Current projections seem confident and demand remains strong. However, we shouldn’t forget that there are also certain segments of the market that are encountering significant regulatory barriers when accessing new property opportunities, such as buy-to-let landlords.

“Overall, I for one hope the Government uses the Spring Budget on 11 March as an opportunity to creatively build on the momentum that has been sparked as a result of Johnson’s decisive victory.”