THE towns where house prices increased the most in 2020 have been revealed following a year of ups and downs due to coronavirus.
The London district of Islington topped the table after average property prices jumped a whopping £85,918 (13.4%) from £642,004 to £727,922 in just 12 months.
Outside London, the biggest mover was Leeds, which had the country's second-fastest rise of 11.3% to an average of £247,116, according to research by Halifax.
Next up, London's Croydon came in third place after house prices grew by 10.9% to £397,538, having only risen by 1% last year.
While Wolverhampton came fourth, with house prices up 9.5% to £217,837.
The research from Halifax also found that, at the other end of the table, the average house price in Paisley, west of Glasgow, fell by 1.7% to £138,036.
The best and worst towns for house price gainsin 2020
THE Greater London area took nine of the top 20 places for house price rises in 2020.
The top 20 towns
- Islington, Greater London – up 13.4% to £727,922
- Leeds, Yorkshire & Humberside – up 11.3% to £247,116
- Croydon, Greater London – up 10.9% to £397,538
- Wolverhampton, West Midlands – up 9.5% to £217,837
- Hounslow, Greater London – up 9.1% to £523,659
- Doncaster, Yorkshire & Humberside – up 8.8% to £176,728
- Inverness, Scotland – up 8.1% to £195,534
- Bournemouth, South West – up 7.7% to £310,205
- Watford, South West – up 7.7% to £460,102
- Romford, Greater London – up 7.6% to £391,000
- Grimsby, Yorkshire & Humberside – up 7.5% to £168,035
- Richmond Upon Thames, Greater London – up 7.5% to £762,749
- Kingston Upon Thames, Greater London – up 7.4% to £599,317
- Bolton, North West – up 7.1% to £181,853
- Belfast, Northern Ireland – up 7.1% to £190,486
- Lambeth, Greater London – up 7% to £618,445
- Sutton, Greater London – up 6.9% to £468,180
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, North – up 6.6% to 213,887
- Hillingdon, Greater London – up 6% to £274,246
- Edinburgh, Scotland – up 10.6% to £304,598
The worst towns with the biggest house price falls or the smallest rises
- Paisley, Scotland – down 1.7% to £138,036
- Hackney, Greater London – down 1.5% to £636,002
- Aberdeen, Scotland – down 1.4% to £200,810
- Falkirk, Scotland – down 0.8% to £175,789
- Merton, Greater London – down 0.6% to £576,511
- Greenwich, Greater London – down 0.2% to £491,102
- Tower Hamlets, Greater London – up 0.5% to £520,976
- Bedford, South East – up 0.7% to £343,634
- Ipswich, East Anglia – up 0.8% to £251,261
- Dunfermline, Scotland – up 1.1% to £179,267
It means the town fared the worst in terms of house prices in 2020, followed second by Hackney in London, where prices fell 1.5% to £636,002.
Overall, Greater London took nine of the top 20 places for house price rises, which is good news for homeowners but bad for first-time buyers.
Average house prices across the UK rose by £29,307 (10.6%), from £275,291 to £304,598.
Halifax based its data on areas with more than 200 property transactions, covering 12-month rolling data to October in both 2019 and 2020.
It comes as the housing market has swung back from the first coronavirus lockdown, which effectively saw it shut for a seven-week period this spring.
House prices have since hit record highs following a temporary stamp duty holiday on properties worth up to £500,000, which has boosted demand.
The tax break is positive for sellers who can seize the opportunity to cash in, but buyers risk paying over the odds if the house price boom doesn't last.
What help is out there for first-time buyers?
GETTING on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task but there are schemes out there to help first-time buyers have their own home.
Help to Buy Isa – It's a tax-free savings account where for every £200 you save, the Government will add an extra £50. But there's a maximum limit of £3,000 which is paid to your solicitor when you move. These accounts have now closed to new applicants but those who already hold one have until November 2029 to use it.
Help to Buy equity loan – The Government will lend you up to 20% of the home's value – or 40% in London – after you've put down a 5% deposit. The loan is on top of a normal mortgage but it can only be used to buy a new build property.
Lifetime Isa – This is another Government scheme that gives anyone aged 18 to 39 the chance to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 towards their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and the Government will add 25% on top.
Shared ownership – Co-owning with a housing association means you can buy a part of the property and pay rent on the remaining amount. You can buy anything from 25% to 75% of the property but you're restricted to specific ones.
"First dibs" in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is working on a scheme that will restrict sales of all new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for three months before any overseas marketing can take place.
Starter Home Initiative – A Government scheme that will see 200,000 new-build homes in England sold to first-time buyers with a 20% discount by 2020. To receive updates on the progress of these homes you can register your interest on the Starter Homes website.
Russell Galley, Halifax's managing Director, said: "Much like many other things about 2020, it would have been hard to predict which areas would see the greatest movement in average house prices this year.
"For example, depending on the borough, you could be looking at the biggest price rise or the biggest falls in the capital.
“House prices have leapt by more than 11% in Yorkshire’s great cosmopolitan city of Leeds and almost 10% in Wolverhampton at the heart of the Black Country.
“Further North, Doncaster and Inverness have also seen healthy growth and whilst the overall house price trend this year has been upward, anyone looking to buy in Paisley, Hackney, or Aberdeen will find homes cost a little bit less than last year.”
Property sellers are dropping prices to try and beat the end of the stamp duty tax break on March 31.
It comes after experts warned that buyers need to get their skates on to take advantage of the stamp duty saving which could be worth up to £15,000.
Worried how Brexit will house prices? We explain what you need to know.
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