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Average UK house prices rose 6% in year to December

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Property prices ended 2020 at a record high level, but the pace of growth has now started to slow
Average UK house prices rose 6% in year to December

House prices increased to a record high of £253,374 in December, according to Halifax.

That’s 0.2% higher than in November and 6% higher than the previous December.

Prices have increased for the last six months, although December’s 0.2% rise was the lowest monthly increase seen during that period, as growth has started to slow.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “2020 was a tale of two distinct halves for the housing market.

“Following a strong start, the first half was dominated by the restrictions on movement due to COVID-19, and prices were subsequently down 0.5% at mid-year as the market effectively ground to a halt.

“However, when the market reopened, prices soared as a result of pent-up demand, a desire amongst buyers for greater space and the time-limited incentive of the stamp duty holiday.

“However, with the pace of the UK’s economic recovery expected to be constrained by the renewed
national lockdown, and unemployment widely predicted to rise in the coming months, downward pressure on house prices remains likely as we move through 2021.”

George Franks, co-founder of London-based estate agents, Radstock Property, added: “To say 2020 was a tale of two halves is an understatement. The property market went from zero to hero last year.

“Though house price growth tailed off slightly in December, it’s less a negative than a natural slowdown after a six-month surge.

“December activity levels, just like the entire second half of the year, were defined by the mad stampede of buyers to beat the Stamp Duty deadline, which many are calling for the Treasury to now extend given the new national lockdown.

“March is shaping up to be an extremely important month not just for the property market but the economy as a whole.”

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