HOUSE prices in Taunton have shot up faster than anywhere else in the UK in 2021, according to analysis by Halifax.

Buyers have paid on average £56,546 more for their new home in the county town compared to last year.

The increase to £315,759 equates to a 21.8 per cent rise in 12 months. Nationally, the average price growth in the year to October was 6.2 per cent.

Brian Bishop, of Jackson-Stops estate agents, told The Telegraph it has been common for properties to attract 30 viewing within a week of going on sale.

Mr Bishop added: "It is the unique houses with a bit of land which have been most sought-after and some have sold more than 20 per cent above the guide price.

"We have seen lots of younger families buying in the area, which is very well served for schools, and also early retirees who want a change of scene."

Taunton's popularity comes with a problem though - the queue of potential buyers is much longer than the supply of properties for sale.

Mr Bishop added: "We really have sold pretty much everything.

"We have a register of good buyers who are desperate to live in the area, but with nothing to sell them."

Many of the buyers snapping up homes in Taunton have moved away from the South East of England, according to one estate agent.

David Hebditch, sales agent with Carter Jonas in Taunton, told The Times: “There has been a migration from London and the home counties.

"In addition to the usual draws of the area — good transport links, schools and so on — it is driven by a desire for more space and the ability to work from home.”

According to Russell Galley, of Halifax, London house prices have lagged behind the rest of the country since the start of the pandemic, with the lure of country lifestyles proving more attractive.

Mr Galley said: "It is rare that no London boroughs appear amongst the areas of highest house price growth, but that is the case in 2021.

"This shift echoes what we have seen over the last year – less focus on major cities and more demand in the suburbs and further afield."