Average UK house prices broke records for the fifth consecutive month in December, up 14.6% throughout 2015 to reach £233,947 – a new high.
Data from estate agency haart also suggested the number of new registered buyers in the UK soared 10.1% in a year with 12 buyers chasing every property.
Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, said: “The high level of competition sustained throughout 2015 has pushed house prices up by 14.6% or £29,814 in monetary terms over the year.
“This is more than the UK average salary according to official government data, throwing the price rise into sharp relief – certainly good news for those looking to realise the equity in their home.”
Smith predicted that 2016 will be a “particularly active year” for the property market, especially the first few months as buy-to-let investors rush to complete purchases by April and the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge.
He added: “London will remain particularly popular for foreign investors due to its status as a global safe haven for property investment.
“With interest rates likely to stay stable, generous mortgage packages will continue to be available, including those that require just a 5% deposit.
“This will be particularly helpful for first-time buyers, and will also push up demand amongst homeowners and investors. As a result of this I expect to see house prices increase by 9% throughout 2016.”