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Official figures confirm summer housing boom

Latest Land Registry figures, published last week, largely confirm that the house sales boom over the summer months shows little sign of slowing.

UK house prices increased by 4.7 per cent in the year to September 2020, up from an annual 3.0 per cent rate of rise in August 2020, according to official figures. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 1.7 per cent between August 2020 and September 2020. This was far above the 0.1 per cent increase recorded during the same two months of 2019.

House price growth was strongest in England where prices increased by 4.9 per cent in the year to September 2020, putting the average price at £262k. The highest annual growth within the English regions was in the South West where average house prices grew by 6.4 per cent. The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where prices increased by 3.3 per cent in the year to September 2020.

In Northern Ireland annual house price growth was put at 2.4 per cent for September, putting the average price of a property at £143k. In Scotland prices were up 4.3 per cent to an average of £162k, and in Wales up 3.8 per cent to an average of £171k.

The increases put the average price of a house in the UK at £245k – £376k for a detached property (up 6.2 per cent on a year previously), £232k for a semi-detached (up 5.1 per cent) and £199k for a terraced property (up 4.8 per cent).

Flats and maisonettes (up 2 per cent) were the type of property showing the slowest rate of price growth.

If Land Registry search applications are anything to go by, the pace of housing market activity did not slow between September and October. The registry completed just over 1,761,000 applications in October – up from 1,705,000 in September – although down from the 1.906,000 applications in October 2019.