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House Prices in December 2020

House price headline statistics for December 2020

  • The average house price in the UK was £251,500
  • The annual price change for a property in the UK was 8.5%
  • The monthly price change for a property in the UK was 1.2%
  • The monthly index figure (January 2015 = 100) for the UK was 131.9

House prices

UK house prices for the year increased from 7.1% in November 2020 to 8.5% in December 2020.

Comparing December 2020 to November 2020, the average UK house price increased by 1.2%. This same comparison was -0.1% in 2019.

The North West saw the most growth at 11.2% in the year to December 2020. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lowest growth was in London at 3.5%, down from 7% in the year to November 2020. We have seen that due to COVID, many people are looking to move away from densely populated cities to areas with more space. This has been supported by evidence from Rightmove’s House Price Index and anecdotal evidence from the UK Landscape Barometer.

The estimated number of transactions of residential properties over £40,000 was 129,400 in December 2020. This is higher than December 2019 by 31.5% and more than than November 2020 by 13.1%. These figures are based on seasonal adjustments and sourced from the UK Property Transactions Statistics.

An indication of future lending can be determined by mortgage approvals for house purchases. In December 2020 this was 103,400 as noted by the Bank of England’s Money and Credit – December 2020 report. This could be quite a good indication as these levels were well above the pre-coronavirus levels from February 2020.

House price changes

Annual  house price change

Annual house price change for UK by country over the past 5 years

The largest annual house price growth in the year to December 2020 was in Wales with an increase of 10.7%.

Next was England with an 8.5% increase, Scotland with an 8.4% increase, and lastly Northern Ireland with a 5.3% increase in the year to Quarter 4 (October to December) 2020.

Average house price by country and government office region

Price, monthly change and annual change by country and government office region

Country and government office regionPriceMonthly changeAnnual change
England£269,1501.5%8.5%
Northern Ireland (Quarter 4 – 2020)£147,5933.0%5.3%
Scotland£162,983-1.2%8.4%
Wales£184,1952.3%10.7%
East Midlands£215,0462.8%10.6%
East of England£310,9122.4%7.0%
London£496,066-1.1%3.5%
North East£141,1541.9%9.2%
North West£183,7272.5%11.2%
South East£341,0070.1%6.1%
South West£282,3882.3%

10.2%

 

West Midlands£216,9501.9%9.4%
Yorkshire and The Humber£182,9071.1%10.4%

House price changes by country and government office region

The average house price in the UK increased by 1.2% (non-seasonally adjusted) and 1.3% (seasonally adjusted) between November and December 2020, whereas in the same period during 2019 there was a fall of 0.1% (non-seasonally adjusted).

 

Average house price by property type

Average monthly price by property type

Property TypeDecember 2020December 2019Difference
Detached£386,257£351,11810.0%
Semi-detached£239,946£220,5458.8%
Terraced£205,864£188,4609.2%
Flat or maisonette£213,807£203,6115.0%
All£251,500£231,7928.5%

Sales volumes

The amount of time between the sale of a property and the registration of this information typically ranges between two weeks and two months but can be longer. Volume figures for the most recent two months are not yet at a reliable level for reporting, so they are not included in the report. Published transactions for recent months will increase as later registered transactions are incorporated into the index.

Sales volumes

Number of sales volumes by country

CountryOctober 2020October 2019 
England66,64374,620 
Northern Ireland (Quarter 4 – 2020)7,4016,757 
Scotland12,2059,456 
Wales3,7174,294 

Note: The number of property transactions for October 2020 will increase as more transactions are incorporated into the index. The statistics below are provisional estimates.

Volume estimates between October 2019 and October 2020:
  • England: 0.9%
  • Scotland: 31.9%
  • Wales: -4.2%
  • Northern Ireland (year to Quarter 4 2020): 22.9%
Volume transactions (non-seasonally adjusted) in year to October 2020
From UK Property Transaction Statistics (HM Revenue & Customs)
  • England: 11.2%
  • Scotland: 36.1%
  • Wales: 4.3%
  • Northern Ireland: 20%

Sales volumes for the UK over the past 5 years

Sales volumes for 2016 to 2020 by country: October

Note: The number of property transactions for October 2020 will increase as more transactions are incorporated into the index. The statistics below are provisional estimates.

Volume estimates between October 2019 and October 2020:
  • UK: 5.6%
Volume transactions (non-seasonally adjusted) in year to October 2020
From UK Property Transaction Statistics (HM Revenue & Customs)
  • UK: 13.3%

Property status for UK

Transactions involving the creation of a new register, such as new builds, are more complex and need more time to process. This means they can take longer to appear in the land registers. The volume of new build transactions for the most recent two months are not at a reliable level for reporting the breakdown between new build and existing resold property, so they are not included in the report.

New build and existing resold property

Property statusAverage price October 2020Monthly changeAnnual change
New build£306,997-0.4%6.3%
Existing resold property£242,3741.3%5.8%

 

Buyer status for Great Britain

First time buyer and former owner occupier

Type of buyerAverage price December 2020Monthly changeAnnual change
First time buyer£210,7271.3%7.9%
Former owner occupier£293,1341.2%9.3%

 

Funding status for Great Britain

Cash and mortgage

*For Great Britain only, Northern Ireland data is not available for funding status.

Funding statusAverage price December 2020Monthly changeAnnual change
Cash£239,8671.4%8.7%
Mortgage£261,9491.1%8.5%

 

Housing transaction distributions

Properties sold – July 2020 to September 2020

CountryMost popular price rangeNumber of properties purchased
England£150,000 to £174,99912,194
Northern Ireland£125,000 to £149,999845
Scotland£75,000 to £99,9992,500
Wales£125,000 to £149,999989
TotalTotal range192,072

 

The charts below show the distribution of housing transactions for Quarter 3 (July to September) 2020 for countries of the UK.

England housing transactions

Northern Ireland housing transactions

Scotland housing transactions

Wales housing transactions

House prices in December 2020

House prices in December 2020 have grown surprisingly well, all things considered. In our recent article on the housing market in January 2021, we found that house prices were perhaps a little lower as sellers have been trying to push sales through before the stamp duty holiday ends in March. Regardless, it seems like house prices and the housing market are indicating a shift away from densely populated cities as space is becoming more important.

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