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Housing market springs back into action

Lana Clements
Written By:
Lana Clements

The UK housing market sprang back into action at the end of last year, as a December bounce boosted values, official data has confirmed.

Prices increased by 2.2 per cent in the year to December 2019, up from 1.7 per cent in November 2019.

The average value now stands at £234,742, to according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Between November and December, prices increased by 0.3 per cent, compared with a 0.2 per cent fall in the same period a year earlier.

Regionally, prices were rising fastest in Northern Ireland, up 2.5 per cent from a year earlier.

The slowest growth was in the South East and West Midlands where values edged up by 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.

It comes after numerous other surveys, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), Nationwide and Halifax reported a lift in the housing market at the end of 2019.

It’s thought the outcome of the election helped disperse some of the political uncertainty that has shrouded the market and economy.

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “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.”

Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle added: “It’s promising to see positive growth in house prices across the breadth of the UK, for the first time since February 2018. These figures are a welcome uptick in the housing market as we head towards spring, which is traditionally a promising time for activity.

“With the market boosted by a post-election bounce, this will only give momentum to the upward trajectory in house price growth and buyer confidence.”