April’s change to stamp duty for buy-to-let landlords, a burgeoning post-crash employment rate and affordable mortgages have spurred on a significant hike in property prices in the East and South East of England, which has sent the UK’s average house price sky-rocketing to almost £285,000.
In February 2015, the average amount paid for a UK property was £269,000. Over the course of one year, that figure has increased by a whopping 7.6% to reach £284,000. On average, UK house-buyers are paying around 8% more for property than they were one year ago, according to newly released data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Yet this particular picture isn’t the same across the whole country…
In Scotland, for example, average house prices actually fell by 0.2% over the same period. Meanwhile, in Wales they rose by a more modest 2.8%. In Northern Ireland, the rise amounted to a 2.4% increase. It is in England, particularly the South East (+11.4%), East (+10.3%) and London (+9.7%), where the greatest increases in house prices have been witnessed.
In fact, in the South East of England property prices are at an all-time high, with buyers paying an average of £263,000. The East, too, is seeing its highest house prices to date. The average price in the region is now a record-breaking £317,000. For the very first time, Ipswich has entered emoov’s UK property hotspot index, surging into 4th position as one of the country’s most sought-after areas to live (largely thanks to its easy commute to London), as the capital’s commuter belt continues to swell.
The region’s commuting potential is just one part of the puzzle, which accounts for the impressive hike in prices in recent months. With the government implementing a new stamp duty surcharge for anyone buying a property which is not to be their main residential property, landlords had been snapping up property quickly to avoid the new charges that hit in April.
Meanwhile, as unemployment eased during this period across the UK and mortgages remain relatively affordable, more and more people are feeling financially able to buy. Altogether, this has created a surge in demand which resulted in something of a “seller’s market” – with fierce competition for property allowing for inflated prices in the area.
Keen to buy a home in the UK’s newest property hot spot? The Mortgage Centres can help. With branches across the region, from Stowmarket to Leiston, we know the local property market inside out, and can provide expert mortgage advice and brokering to help you take your next step on the ladder. Keen to learn more? Contact our experienced, local teams today!