Buyers had to fork out tens of thousands of pounds more for homes in Dacorum last year, according to new figures which also reveal the most expensive neighbourhoods in the area.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which prevented house sales during the first lockdown, coupled with stamp duty holidays, has boosted the housing market across the UK since the world opened back up in 2020.
Office for National Statistics data shows the median house price hit £425,000 in Dacorum in the year to June – an increase of £45,000 compared to the previous 12 months.
House prices were also above pre-pandemic levels, with the average standing at £375,000 in the year to June 2019.
The median – the middle number in a series – is used to ensure the figures are not skewed by extreme highs or lows.
These neighbourhoods in Dacorum recorded the highest median house prices in the year to June:
> Berkhamsted South: £668,000 – up from £638,000 in 2019-20
> Kings Langley: £656,000 – up from £490,000
> Tring East, Wigginton and Aldbury: £650,000 – an increase from £579,000
> Berkhamsted West: £638,000 – falling from £670,000
> Northchurch and Potten End: £620,000 – down from £653,000.
By contrast, the area recording the lowest average house price was Highfield, where homes sold for around £295,000 in 2020-21.
The figures also show the number of homes sold in Dacorum rose year-on-year, from 1,773 to 2,351.
The largest proportion were in Boxmoor and Apsley, where 267 homes changed hands in the period.
Across England, residential property sales increased by 10 per cent to 761,067.
Martin Beck, chief economic adviser of economic forecasting group EY Item Club, said while Government measures such as the stamp duty holiday brought forward house purchases last year, the market could be set to change.
He said: “The prospect of a series of interest rate rises by the Bank of England in 2022 will translate into higher mortgage rates.
“And cost of living pressures faced by households from rising inflation and taxes mean fewer people will be able to afford to borrow the necessary amount they need to buy at higher mortgage rates.”
But Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said mortgages are still competitively priced, meaning buyers will continue to “take the plunge”.
Nicky Stevenson, managing director at estate agent group Fine & Country, said with most agents still struggling to find enough homes to meet demand, the financial pressures were unlikely to have a “significant” impact on the market.
And property consultancy Knight Frank said high levels of requests from homeowners for a valuation of their property indicated more may be choosing to sell this year.