Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, says:
“December’s figures represent a full year of rising house prices across the UK, driven by sustained demand which has progressively outstripped supply during the course of the year. Traditionally a quieter month for the property market, house prices continued to defy expectations and climbed 10.8% in the final month of the year.
“The relentless market conditions which have come to characterise the property market during 2021 are evidence of the pandemic’s impact on where and how people want to live. While we expect people to continue to relocate to homes more compatible for living in a post-pandemic world of hybrid working and life outside of cities, there are also some notable headwinds as we enter 2022 that might impact the market.
“Since the pandemic has struck, wage growth has lagged behind house price growth and the Bank of England’s increase in inflation rates is only set to aggravate this gap. Added to this, prospective buyers and existing homeowners are facing a cost-of-living crisis. We are seeing rising prices in sectors from food and drink to energy and telecommunications, all of which are set to impact how people spend their money in the year ahead.
“To effectively manage the squeeze on consumer’s budgets as well as the cost pressures felt by property businesses, property professionals and clients would do well to take advantage of the cost efficiencies offered by digital solutions. A digital-first mindset and the right technological tools will help the market to function at its most cost-effective which will be paramount as we face inflated costs.”