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Pandemic drives UK suburb house prices boom

·2-min read
Plymouth saw house price growth of 5.8% between March 2020 and June 2021. Photo: Getty Images
Plymouth saw house price growth of 5.8% between March 2020 and June 2021. Photo: Getty Images

UK property prices in areas surrounding major cities have surged more than prices in the city itself, as Britons flock to suburbs in search of space, new data revealed.

Halifax research shows that between March 2020 – when the first lockdown restrictions were introduced – and June 2021 – when the government’s stamp duty holiday began to be taper – prices in major British cities, excluding London, grew by an average of 8.9%.

In the areas surrounding these cities, average house price growth was higher, at 10.8%.

“This has been shaped by buyers’ demand for more space, a desire to move from the centre to more suburban locations, and the trend for more home working both now and in the future,” said Andrew Asaam, mortgages director at Halifax.

Read more: ‘Acute’ shortage of UK homes expected to run until 2022

“It’s clear from speaking to our mortgage customers that many have prioritised space over location as a result of more time spent at home over the last year and a half," he said.

"As consumers look for value in the market, that inevitably leads people to look further afield from major city centres, where you tend to get more property for your money.”

The stamp duty threshold was raised to £500,000 ($688,425) between June 2020 and July 2021, providing even more incentive for those buying larger, family-sized homes.

Plymouth saw house price growth of 5.8% between March 2020 and June 2021, while in its surrounding areas, the average price hike was 16.1%.

This was driven by the likes of South Hams – home to Salcombe, Britain’s most expensive seaside town –which has seen prices rise by 26.3%.

In Leicester, prices in the city grew by 6.5%, compared with a rise of 12.1% on average in the surrounding area, with Rutland and Melton up by 22.5%.

However, in Newcastle property price increases in the city (+6.5%) have continued to outstrip those in the surrounding areas (+4.0%).

Overall, UK house prices increased by 13.2% in the year to June 2021, up from 9.8% in May 2021, according to government figures.

Watch: What do stamp duty cuts mean for buyers and house prices?

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