Merry Christmas? UK house prices see highest December rise since 2007

Photo: Navona

The average value of a UK home climbed 0.6 per cent from November to reach a new record high of £240,134, according to LSL Property Services. That figure is 5.2 per cent higher than December 2012, marking the biggest annual jump in six years.

And according to LSL, prices are only going to keep climbing this year, as the market moves “full steam” towards a widespread recovery.

“As we step into 2014, the recovery of the property market shows no sign of slowing down, with buyer demand growing swiftly and competition rising,” comments Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, part of LSL Property Services.

“Momentum is sweeping across the board with new record-high house prices in areas beyond the capital, ranging from the West Midlands to East Anglia. Attention is moving away from the north-south divide and other regions are stepping out of the shadow of London’s more buoyant property market. Now the universal recovery is really taking hold. For the fourth successive month, all ten regions in England & Wales witnessed positive price rises over the past twelve months.”

Low interest rates combined with schemes such as Help to Buy are expected to support the housing market’s growth, while a 34 per cent jump i nsales since December 2012 is bolstering confidence from buyers and sellers alike.

Sexton dismisses concerns of a housing bubble, though: “We’re certainly not in the bubble zone here, with price growth and sales both still some way off their pre-crisis peaks,” he adds.

“The ending of the Funding for Lending scheme, and the arrival of the new mortgage market rules in April, might have a slowing effect further into 2014,” he continues. “The Help to Buy scheme will become even more pivotal in the coming months and the Government’s ability to stimulate housing development will be crucial in addressing the chronic shortage of housing supply.”