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UK house prices: Average cost to own a home hits £275,000

·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·4-min read
UK house price British house with flowers
In England, property values increased by 10.7% with the average house price at a record high of £293,000 in December. Photo: Getty

The average UK house price was £275,000 in December, £27,000 higher than at the end of 2020, figures from the Office of National Statistics show.

According to the latest UK house price index from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house prices climbed 0.8% between November and December of last year and 10.8% year on year.

The ONS said the average house price across the whole of the UK, as well as in England and Wales, reached record levels in the month of December.

The average house price in Wales increased by 13.0% over the year to December 2021, accelerating from an increase of 12.6% in November 2021.

The latest increase pushed the average house price in Wales to a record level of £205,000.

The average house price in Scotland increased by 11.2% over the year to December 2021. This was lower than a 12.1% increase in the year to November 2021. The average house price in Scotland reached £180,000.

Read more: UK towns with most in demand properties

In Northern Ireland, property values increased by 10.7% annually to reach £159,000. It remains the cheapest UK country to purchase a property in.

In England, property values increased by 10.7% over the year to December 2021, up from an increase of 10.5% in the year to November 2021, with the average house price at a record high of £293,000 in December.

Mike Hardie, ONS head of inflation, said: “House prices in the UK, England and Wales all reached record levels this month, with the average UK house price at £275,000 in December 2021, £27,000 higher than this time last year.

“UK rental prices accelerated at their fastest pace since 2017, with increases across every region in England, including London.”

Still, London was the region which saw the lowest price rise in the year to December, with prices up 5.5%.

Overall, the South West was the region with the highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 13.6% in 2021.

UK average house prices increased by 10.8% over the year to December, lifting the average house price to £275,000. Chart: ONS
UK average house prices increased by 10.8% over the year to December, lifting the average house price to £275,000. Chart: ONS

Alan Fitzpatrick, vice president of lending operations at Habito, said: "This ONS data reflects the year of the Stamp Duty Holiday – from the first deadline in March, the extended deadline in June, and the lower threshold which was payable until the end of September.

"To put this incredible one-year price rise into more context, £27,000 would be the 2022 take-home salary post-tax, of someone earning £35,000 (more than the UK average full-time salary which is £31,285)."

Read more: Demand for homes fuels UK housing boom

Real estate experts say the high rate of growth is likely to let up in the coming months.

Karen Noye, mortgage expert at Quilter, said: “Any hopes of a downward tick in house prices have once again been dashed.

“While a reduction in house prices has not yet materialised, it seems inevitable that there will be a slowdown during the coming year and there are many factors currently at play that could contribute.

Michael Bruce, CEO and founder of property portal Boomin, commented: “While the scales of supply and demand remain firmly tipped in favour of the nation’s home sellers, there’s a good chance that the high rate of house price growth seen during the pandemic will now subside, replaced by more incremental gains during the year ahead.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: "Right now, there’s a floor under prices, because of the shortage of properties for sale, after a year and a half of buyer numbers rising and seller numbers falling.

"However, early indications from RICS are that the new year encouraged more sellers into the market, which should make life easier for buyers, but could weaken price rises."

Watch: How much money do I need to buy a house?

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