THE year ahead could bring more stability to the housing market in Lancashire, after a bumper year in 2021 saw frenzied homebuyer activity and prices surging to record highs.

A stamp duty holiday, which ended in 2021, helped fuel about 1.5 million house purchases across the UK over the year – the highest number since before the global financial crisis.

Huge flexible working changes also prompted many people to relocate.

According to trade association UK Finance, 2021 was the strongest year for mortgage lending nationally since 2007.

It estimates £316 billion worth of home loans were given, driven by strong homebuyer activity. It marked the highest total since gross lending reached £357 billion in 2007.

Mark Manning, managing director of Northern Estate Agencies Group, which covers Lancashire, said: "A growing population in our thriving region is resulting in a significant increase in the number of buyers, and there’s simply not enough properties to satisfy demand."

According to property professionals’ body Propertymark, by November 2021 there were just 20 homes available on average per estate agency branch – the lowest figure in records going back 20 years.

Propertymark said the demand/supply imbalance has helped to drive up house prices, with 38% of homes sold for over the asking price in November.

Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said: “2021 has been a remarkable year for the housing market, underpinned by a strong economic recovery, widespread reassessment of housing needs, ultra-low interest rate environment and, for the most part of the year, a stamp duty incentive.

“It will be difficult to replicate these market conditions throughout 2022.”

He said the continued demand/supply imbalance indicates a “tempering of house price growth rather than price falls”.