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House price growth ended 2019 at an all-time high for the year, Land Registry figures show. The December 2019 Land Registry House Price Index showed that average property prices ended 2019 up 2.2% annually to £234,742.

Today’s Daily Mail has splashed the story as its front page lead, attributing the house price rises to the Boris bounce – although the data relates to deals agreed much earlier than the general election, and probably in September or before. Many commentators yesterday also attributed the boost in prices to the so-called post election ‘bounce’. All parts of the UK saw prices grow annually for the first time in almost two years, according to the Land Registry.

Annual house price growth was strongest in Northern Ireland where prices increased by 2.5% over the year. Prices were more subdued on a monthly basis, up just 0.3%. The latest provisional sales volume data from the Land Registry for October showed transactions decreased by 0.8% annually in both England and Wales, increased by 2.7% in Scotland and rose by 5% in Northern Ireland. Gráinne Gilmore, new head of research at Zoopla, said: “The pick-up in annual price growth reflects the trends seen in Zoopla’s UK Cities House Price Index, which recorded the highest level of house price inflation in two years for December 2019. “Zoopla data shows an increase in buyer demand since late last year, a trend that is set to continue amid real wage growth and low interest rates. However, in some areas there is still a shortage of homes coming to market to meet this demand.

“The upcoming Budget is a prime opportunity for the new Chancellor to address some of the factors affecting the housing market at present. Any review of Stamp Duty charges to help the movement of home owners up and down the property ladder would be welcome, but the extent and nature of any reform, which must be balanced against political exigencies, remains to be seen.”