Average house prices soared by 8.5% last year to hit an all time record of £252,000, figures show. it is the highest annual growth since October 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics.
UK property values went up by £20,000 in the year to December. All regions showed an increase but the biggest hike came in the North West, where average prices rose by 11.2 per cent to £184,000. London saw the smallest increase at 3.5 per cent and is still the most expensive part of the country with the average property worth £496,000.
Detached properties saw gains of 10 per cent as buyers searched for bigger properties in lockdown. But the value of flats and maisonettes also rose by 5 per cent.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: 'The housing market continued at full speed ahead as we approached the end of the year. With demand from buyers for more space - both inside and out - outstripping supply, prices inevitably edged upwards.' He added: 'Detached houses continue to be the property of choice, with growth of flats continuing to lag.'