They report the average asking cost for houses to be at £319,996 with monthly growth at 0.2 per cent in September. Scotland saw the most substantial increase in asking prices raised by 8.8 per cent to £168,272. Yorkshire and the Humber, as well as the North West of England, also saw significant growth with prices rising by 7.2 per cent (£210,128)  and  7.1 per cent (£212,977) respectively.

 

house prices
Average UK house price statistics published by Nationwide.

 

Both the East of England and the South East have already surpassed the number of sale agreements made in the same period last year. This is due to the fact that these areas have higher average prices. With more expensive properties, the stamp duty holiday introduced by the chancellor in July has more of an impact on buyers with possible savings of up to tens of thousands of pounds. This acts as an incentive for sellers to raise their asking price, knowing that the buyer is saving on stamp duty. 

 

Increased demand for three and four bedroom houses has also helped to drive UK housing prices. Director of property data at Rightmove Tim Bannister states: “Increased competition for second-stepper homes has pushed prices to a record this month for those looking to take the next step up the ladder”. While most often the reason for moving house is needing more space, the increase in people working from home has created a higher demand for the same types of properties. As a result, different types of buyers are now finding themselves in competition for the same type of property. 

 

Another affect the pandemic is a surge of people looking to move out of major cities. More and more people are choosing to leave the capital altogether, but the outer areas of London are still active. Zone 1 has become less desirable as, with more people working remotely, the importance of living close to inner-city offices dwindles. York is one of the many areas seeing buyers coming from London, as it’s far cheaper in comparison. Many are choosing to sell up and move despite working in the capital because they will only be commuting once or twice a week. As a result, commuter belts are widening around London and all major cities. 

 

Before the pandemic, many would’ve assumed it impossible to leave the major cities in which they find their employment. Moving to the countryside to a larger or more desirable home is likely something many would never have considered an option. However, with the majority of people spending more time at home in recent months, more buyers are happy to compromise on city life and opt instead for extra indoor space or a garden. The option to work from home has created a wave of people looking to move to more affordable areas and own larger homes than they ever thought they could. Accordingly, demand for smaller houses with three and four bedrooms has grown, demonstrating that houses have become preferable over flats.