The rise in house prices in England and Wales has continued, with December 2015 being the 12th month in succession in which prices have risen, according to the latest house price index from LSL Property Services and Acadata.
December prices rose by £1,650, or 0.6%.
The average home in England & Wales now costs £292,077.
The report said that, given the current rates of growth, the average market price looks set to pass the £300,000 mark by May 2016, having reached the £250,000 level in December 2013.
On an annual basis, house prices in December 2015 have risen by 6.6%, or £17,963, representing the twelfth new peak for house prices in the calendar year.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “The housing market has enjoyed some smooth sailing in the past year, with a steady 6.6% growth in house prices during 2015 rewarding homeowners and reinforcing our collective desire to own our own homes. The typical home across England and Wales is now worth £17,963 more than at the end of 2014, with new price records established every month throughout 2015 after 12 consecutive monthly rises.
“December also marks the highest year-on-year house price growth for ten months, and this may well prompt existing homeowners to move up to the next rung of the property ladder in 2016, freeing up homes at the bottom for first-time buyers. The rising tide of property prices has been propelled so far by a sinking supply of houses coming onto the market, compared with increasing enquiries from potential buyers eager to clamber aboard the property ladder.
“If the current speed of house price growth continues into 2016, the value of the average home may soon pass the £300,000 watermark, having reached £250,000 in December 2013. Property price rises have certainly left the recession in their wake, with house prices passing the £200,000 milestone only in October 2005.
“During December, house prices rose by £1,650 (0.6%), a pick up from the 0.4% monthly uplift in November, and we may subsequently see prices surge further during the first quarter of 2016 before the Government’s new housebuilding programmes have a chance to boost the supply of property on the market. Home sales have surfed the waves of buyer demand in December, increasing 8.5% compared to November 2015. A total of 85,000 home sales represents the best figure for this month since 2006, with sales buoyed up by the extra support available for first-time buyers and rising wages.”