House prices surge ahead in the East of England rising by a fifth in some areas

File photo dated 02/09/08 of a couple standing outside an estate agent's window. The number of people taking their first step on to the property ladder with a mortgage last year is estimated to have topped 400,000 for the first time since 2006. Issue date: Tuesday January 4, 2022.
House prices in the East of England increase by nearly 12% during 2021 Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/PA Images

House prices increased by as much as 20% in some parts of the Anglia region during 2021 with the cost of owning a home rising faster than the rest of the UK as a whole.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Land Registry revealed that the average house price in the East of England at the end of last year was nearly £340,000. That was an annual increase of nearly 12% with the price going up by more than £35,000.

Across the UK, house prices increased by £27,000 last year, ending 2021 on a record high of £275,000.

The price of property in different areas of the ITV Anglia region varied widely from more than £576,000 in St Albans in Hertfordshire down to just over £200,000 in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

Map of average house prices in each area of the ITV Anglia region in December 2021

Prices increased in all areas of the region during 2021 but in some places much more steeply than others. South Norfolk saw the fourth largest rise in the country as house prices increased by 21% in the year to £336,636.

Also in the top twenty areas where prices have risen at the fastest rate nationally are Fenland in Cambridgeshire, Maldon in Essex, Babergh in Suffolk and Broadland in Norfolk.

The smallest annual increases in the region were in Ipswich (up 3.1%), North Hertfordshire (up 4.2%), Brentwood (up 4.4%) and Chelmsford (up 4.5%).

Graphic showing average house prices and annual increases in each area of the ITV Anglia region at the end of 2021

ONS head of Inflation Mike Hardie said: “House prices in the UK, England and Wales all reached record levels this month, with the average UK house price at £275,000 in December 2021, £27,000 higher than this time last year.

“UK rental prices accelerated at their fastest pace since 2017, with increases across every region in England, including London.”

Nitesh Patel, strategic economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “A key challenge in the current housing market is the lack of supply of homes for sale whilst demand continues to remain strong – which perhaps explains the strong price performance in southern England.

“For most of last year the stamp duty holiday had provided a boost but even after that ended prices have continued to rise. Low borrowing costs and a strong jobs market are key drivers but in the coming months a further deterioration in household finances may take some of the heat out of the market.”

Alan Fitzpatrick, from mortgage company Habito, said: “Mortgage applicants’ affordability is likely to decline in the coming months. Even though average wage growth picked up in January, it failed to keep up with inflation.

“The Consumer Price Inflation report published this morning revealed that inflation has hit a 30-year high of 5.5%.”