House prices

Annual house price growth slows



House prices during the three months to January 2018 were 2.2% higher than in the same period a year earlier, according to the latest research.

However, the Halifax House Price Index found that the annual change in January was down on the 2.7% reported in December.

On a monthly basis, house prices fell for the second consecutive month, with January recording a 0.6% drop.

Nonetheless, the average house price of £223,285 at the beginning of the year was 1.9% higher than in January 2017 (£219,217), but down on the record figure registered in November (£226,408).

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said the decrease in growth from December to January was the lowest rate since July last year.

“Despite the recent rise in the Bank of England base rate, mortgage rates are still very low.

“This – combined with an ongoing acute shortage of properties for sale – will continue to underpin house prices over the coming months.”

Russell Quirk, CEO and founder at Emoov.co.uk, felt the month of January was always a struggle and even with low mortgage rates, market activity would remain predictably muted as buyers looked to find their stride financially.

“Price growth will soon thaw and as the market gains momentum into spring and summer, the pick-up in buyer interest and market activity will see prices once again on the up.

“While it may be too soon to see any direct impact from the abolition of first-time buyer stamp duty, a number of industry sources are reporting a strong uplift in buyer demand among this demographic.”

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, also felt that the house price freeze appeared to be melting.

“While flatlining prices will unsettle armchair valuers, the market is far from seizing up.

“The gap between consumer price inflation and average wage rises may have closed a touch, but affordability remains the single greatest challenge for many would-be homeowners. 

“Nevertheless, on the front line we’re seeing reassuring levels of buyer intent – with those who have resolved to buy pressing ahead despite political and economic headwinds.”


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