House prices continue to boom in the North East, reports have revealed.
A report by Nationwide shows annual house prices rose to a six-year high of 7.3% by the end of 2020.
All regions across the UK rose in the final quarter of 2020, the North East recording a 6% increase.
The figures are extraordinary considering the impact of lockdown and are echoed by house price index figures.
According to Hometrack, demand for housing at the end of 2020 was 40% higher than the same period in 2019. Its figures show a 4% increase in the number of houses being put up for sale.
Value of house sales increase
Meanwhile, its November report shows that the value of sales agreed was 26% higher than the previous year. It says the impetus for house price growth comes from the North East and Wales. This is where affordability is less of a barrier to price growth.
Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, said: “The resilience seen in recent quarters seemed unlikely at the start of the pandemic. Indeed, housing market activity almost ground to a complete halt during the first lockdown as the wider economy shrank by an unprecedented 26 per cent.
“But, since then, housing demand has been buoyed by a raft of policy measures and changing preferences in the wake of the pandemic.
“The furlough and Self Employment Income Support schemes provided vital support for the labour market, while a host of measures helped to keep down the cost of borrowing and keep the supply of credit flowing.
“The stamp duty holiday also stimulated housing demand, by bringing forward peoples’ home-moving plans. Lenders also responded by offering payment holidays to borrowers impacted by the pandemic, helping people stay in their homes rather than potentially being forced to sell.”