2021 ended on a high note, at least in terms of U.K. property prices.
The average price of a residence in the U.K. was £276,091 (US$374,864) in December, according to the Halifax House Price Index, released Friday. Home prices rose more than £24,500 in 2021, the largest annual rise since March 2003.
“In 2021 we saw the average house price reach new record highs on eight occasions, despite the U.K. being subject to a ‘lockdown’ for much of the first six months of the year,” Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said in the report.
Regionally, Wales registered the strongest performance in 2021, the data showed. The average price of a home there rose 14.5% last year to £205,579.
Northern Ireland also saw double-digit growth in prices, with the average house price reaching £170,946 in December, a 10.6% rise, the report said. In Scotland, the average price of a home was up 9.7% annually to £192,988, the most expensive on record.
The North West was the best-performing region in England, with a rise in average prices of 11.8%, according to the index. London had the lowest price growth, with an annual uptick of 2.1%.
In 2022, price growth is predicted to stabilize, according to Mr. Galley.
“Looking ahead, the prospect that interest rates may rise further this year to tackle rising inflation and increasing pressures on household budgets suggest house price growth will slow considerably,” he said. “Our expectation is that house prices will maintain their current strong levels, but that growth relative to the last two years will be at a slower pace. However, there are many variables which could push house prices either way, depending on how the pandemic continues to impact the economic environment.”