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House prices make a surprise return to growth

Lender Halifax says increases accelerated during September and average price now stands at 4% year-on-year.

Nigel Lewis

house pricesHouse prices have rebounded and are rising by 4% a year, lender the Halifax has revealed in its latest house price index.

The surprise rise was driven by an 0.8% hike during September, the second month during which house prices have picked up, driving up the year-on-year increase figure from 2.6% in August.

This has also pushed up the average house price to £225,109, the highest ever figure.

“UK house prices continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of properties for sale and solid growth in full-time employment,” says Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax Community Bank (pictured, left).

“However, increasing pressure on spending power and continuing affordability concerns may well dampen buyer demand.”

The bank says property sales in the UK “remained flat” in August but exceeded 100,000 for the eighth month in succession, although mortgage approvals fell during August by 2.7% when compared to July.

New instructions

Using RICS data, the Halifax also says new sales instruction fell for the 18th month in a row although overall the average stock on estate agents’ books edged up by 1% during September.

Russell Quirk emoov“It seems more than apparent that the UK market has found its feet and is starting to gain momentum again,” says Russell Quirk, CEO of eMoov.co.uk (pictured, right).

“This momentum is unlikely to regress despite the ongoing spectacle of Britain leaving the EU. In addition, while an increase in interest rates seems very likely over the coming months, they are already at such a low level that any increase is likely to be marginal and insignificant when it comes to impacting or deterring buyers.”|

Jeff Knight of Foundation Home Loans says (pictured, left): “Housing has been high on the political agenda these past two weeks, with both tenants’ rights and promises to boost the number of new builds taking centre stage.

“It is clear the continued lack of supply is not helping meet growing demand from first time buyers as well as families looking to expand their space.

“Certainly, the ongoing shortage of properties is the main reason behind the steady growth, and that growth does need to be controlled.”

 

October 6, 2017

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