Official: UK house prices rose 2.2% last year
Average UK house prices rose by 2.2% to £235,000 over the year to December 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This was up from annual inflation of 1.7% in November 2019, boosted by a particularly strong end to the year. For the first time since February 2018, all regions saw a positive annual growth rate.
Average house prices increased over the year in England to £252,000 (2.2%), Wales to £166,000 (2.2%), Scotland to £152,000 (2.2%) and Northern Ireland to £140,000 (2.5%).
Regionally the lowest annual growth rate was in the South East of England (1.2%), followed by the West Midlands (1.4%).
Yorkshire and the Humber was the English region with the highest annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 3.9% in the year to December 2019, followed by the East Midlands (2.8%).
London house prices grew by 2.3% to £484,000 over the year to December 2019, up from 0.4% in November 2019.
Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “The certainty provided by the definitive result of the General Election was a shot in the arm for the UK housing market. The annual level of growth for the UK according to the ONS is the highest recorded in 2019, with all regions seeing positive growth for the first time in nearly two years.
“The upcoming Budget is a prime opportunity for the new Chancellor to address some of the factors affecting the housing market at present. Any review of stamp duty charges to help the movement of homeowners up and down the property ladder would be welcome, but the extent and nature of any reform, which must be balanced against political exigencies, remains to be seen.”
David Westgate, group chief executive at Andrews Property Group, added: “There’s a definite sense that the property market has turned a corner and is shaking off its post-EU Referendum anxieties.
“Sheer boredom with Brexit and the simple need to get on with their lives saw more and more people transact during 2019.
“Activity levels and sentiment have picked up even more since the New Year, especially in February. The pent-up demand in the market is now really starting to come through.”