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7 Feb 2022

Race for space: how much does it cost to upsize to a detached house in your area?

Price of detached houses soars by 17% as buyers compete for bigger homes

The price of a detached home in the UK has soared since the start of the pandemic, with buyers battling to get ahead in the race for space.

New research by Halifax shows detached houses are rising in cost more quickly than flats, terraced houses and semi-detached houses.

Here, Which? explains the factors behind the rising popularity of bigger homes, and analyses how much you'll need to spend to upsize in 2022.

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Price of detached houses rises by 17%

The average cost of a detached house in the UK has risen by £60,000 since March 2020.

This means buyers now pay an average of £425,177 for a detached property - that's 17% more since the start of the pandemic.

Halifax's research found that detached houses are growing in price more quickly than other types of property, as shown in the table below.

Type of propertyAverage priceIncrease since March 2020 (£)Increase since March 2020(%)
Flat£158,992£13,3259%
Terraced£213,798£27,71515%
Semi-detached£280,090£36,84115%
Detached£425,177£60,55617%

Source: Halifax, January 2022.

The growing cost of upsizing

Halifax's report reveals how difficult it is for buyers to upsize to a bigger home, with the gap in cost between each type of property continuing to widen.

The data shows it now costs an average of £54,000 to upgrade from a flat to a terraced house, compared to £40,000 in March 2020.

Home movers looking to upsize from a semi-detached house to a detached property must now pay an additional £145,000, up from £121,000 since the start of the pandemic.

The interactive chart below shows the growing cost of moving up the property ladder.

How much do homes cost in your region?

Halifax's research outlines the average costs of upsizing, but how much you'll actually need to pay varies significantly depending on where you want to live.

The interactive chart below shows the average price of a flat, terraced house, semi-detached house and detached house in each region of the UK.

As you can see, costs vary wildly. In Northern Ireland, the average detached home costs just £217,000, but in London you'll need to pay a whopping £910,000.

Why are buyers looking for detached houses?

The stamp duty holiday and the pandemic have both influenced the type of houses people are looking to buy.

Tax breaks and buyer demand

Last year's stamp duty holiday offered tax savings of up to £15,000 to homebuyers, with the biggest cuts available to those buying properties for £500,000 or more in England or Northern Ireland.

The tax break brought about soaring transaction numbers and property prices. At the heart of this was intense competition for 'forever homes', as buyers competed to secure sought-after detached properties in desirable areas.

Working from home after the pandemic

Changing work patterns in the wake of the pandemic have also had an influence on the types of homes people are buying, with space now top of the agenda.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax says: 'The demand for detached homes is now greater than for any other property type, meaning the competition for those looking to buy an often larger property is fierce.

'As employers began to crystalise longer-term plans for home and hybrid working, buyers have been able to consider homes further afield as the need to commute falls away, with properties previously considered too remote now giving families extras like garden rooms and home offices.'

What's next for house prices?

House prices increased significantly last year, with the most recent data from the Land Registry showing year-on-year rises of around 10% in November 2021.

As 2022 progresses, experts expect property values to remain robust due to a lack of homes coming on to the market, but it is likely that prices will increase much more slowly than they did last year.

The property portals Rightmove and Zoopla predict price growth of 5% and 3% respectively, while the estate agent Savills forecasts a 3% rise in prices during 2022.

Halifax believes growth will be significantly flatter, with changes of 0-2% this year.

Tips on finding the best place to live

If you're looking to move home in 2021, it's important to do your research to find somewhere that ticks all the boxes without busting your budget.

Our guide to finding the best place to live includes advice on comparing towns, including tips on how to spot an up-and-coming area.

In addition, why not check out our stories on the happiest places to live in Great Britain and the most affordable towns for first-time buyers.