According to the latest official data, London house prices saw a big increase towards the end of 2020 with a rise of 4% between October and November last year.  An annual price rise of 9.7 saw average property prices breaking the £500,000 threshold for the first time with the average London property costing £513,997.

Property experts are crediting the price increase to a combination of international buyers rushing to beat the additional tax which is due to be introduced this year and UK house hunters who are aiming to complete on their transactions to reap the saving from the stamp duty holiday before it ends at the end of March.

Economist at PWC, Jamie Durham said “The stamp duty holiday is a particular benefit in London and is likely to have played a significant part in this strong price growth, as the higher average house prices means that more stamp duty is typically due.

“Despite a weak economy and the considerable impact of Covid-19, this data shows that the housing market has continued to perform strongly, buoyed by the stamp duty holiday, pent up demand and preference changes brought about by the pandemic.”

For the whole of the UK, house prices increased 7.6% annually to £249,633 yielding a monthly increase of 1.2%.

Director at Good Move, Ross Counsell said “We can put this growth down to the influx of people looking to buy property in 2020, both before the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday in March, and due to many people simply looking for more spacious properties, particularly in rural locations, during lockdown.

“Mortgage approvals too are at an all-time 13 year high, and with such high demand for properties and mortgages, naturally comes higher average house prices.”