A leading estate agent said Suffolk continues to "tick all the boxes" for potential buyers despite the deepest recession in living memory - with house prices soaring by more than 6% in the last year.

Average house prices in four out of five of Suffolk's local authority areas rose from December 2019 to December 2020 despite Covid fears, latest data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has showed.

East Suffolk saw the largest growth, rising by 8.4% in 12 months, closely followed by Mid Suffolk which had a 7.1% increase, Ipswich with a 6.5% rise and West Suffolk - where house prices jumped by 6%.

Babergh - where the average house costs £289,621 - was the only area in Suffolk where prices dropped.

However, the decrease remained small, with a drop of -0.6% in a year and -2.5% from November 2020.

The average price of a home in Suffolk now stands at £261,830, just below the England average of £269,150.

Tom Orford, who leads the residential team at Savills Ipswich, said that despite the deepest recession in living memory, the strength of the housing market "defied expectations" in Suffolk last year.

“The pandemic has given people the time and opportunity to think more about the space they live in and the attributes they most value in a home," said Mr Orford.

"As we emerged from the first lockdown for example - even before the stamp duty holiday was announced - there was a clear demand from buyers for homes with more space and easy access to the countryside and coast.

“Suffolk of course ticks all of these boxes and competition for best-in-class properties - those in sought-after locations with good connectivity, enough room for a home office and a large garden - has been unprecedented.

"Consequently, property prices have risen, and transaction levels have soared."

The average house price in Mid Suffolk sits at £284,400 - which alongside Babergh and West Suffolk, with the latter costing an average of £275,123 - have a higher price than the England average.

On average, homes in Ipswich cost £207,985 to purchase and £266,910 in the east of the county.

Mr Orford explained that recent restrictions imposed under the national lockdown have only appeared to "reaffirm" people's desire to move.

He added: "Requests for virtual viewings, for example, have been high – allowing people to do their homework ahead of the spring – and website enquiries are up 132% on this time last year.

"The fact there are also currently fewer homes on the market is also driving demand."