According to the mortgage lender Halifax, demand has soared for detached homes during the past year, with prices increasing by 10% compared to December 2019. This is a three-fold increase compared to the price of flats, The Guardian reports. The average price for a detached property is now £486,595.

The article speculates that the rise in demand is fuelled by the coronavirus lockdown, as people seek out more space to work from home. People are also looking for properties in the suburbs and beyond, as businesses become more flexible about the physical location of their employees.

Even when offices begin to reopen, as is expected during the summer of 2021, it seems that the old commuter routine will never quite be the same again. City dwellers are preparing for a future where they work one or two days a week in the main office, and then the rest of the week either at home, or in a new suburban ‘hub’.

The value of semi-detached properties has also risen, up 6.3% from December 2019, while terraced houses rose by 5.8%, with the average price now £202,540. Flats made the smallest increase, up by 3.2%. It is feared that the uneven growth in property values will drive inequalities, making it harder for some people to progress up the ladder.

Russell Galley, the managing director of Halifax, commented: “The gaps between each rung of the housing ladder have widened significantly. Those who have been unable to take a step up the housing ladder in the last year or so may find it harder to trade up than ever before.”

The housing market has slowed slightly after the artificial boom created by the stamp duty holiday, which is due to expire on March 31st. Pressure is currently ramping up on chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the holiday in the March budget, according to reports.

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