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UK house price growth makes ‘positive reading’

Saturday 09 December 2017

UK house prices rose by 2.4 per cent in the three months to the end of November, the faster growth for this measure since January, the latest data from the Halifax shows.

There has also been a month on month rise of 0.5 per cent, taking the average price of a home to £226,821 - 3.2 per cent higher than in January when it was £219,741.

Russell Quirk, chief executive of hybrid estate agents eMoov, said the housing market should continue to build on this momentum after the usual seasonal slowdown in December with the outlook promising for 2018.

He said: “A fifth consecutive increase in monthly house price growth certainly makes positive reading given the current market climate, particularly during a traditionally slower time of year as we approach the festive season.”

“As the issue of supply is unlikely to be addressed in any meaningful way the lack of stock to meet housing demand should keep prices buoyant, aided by the recent changes to first time buyer stamp duty, although this will bring a marginal influence much further down the line than widely expected.”

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said the imbalance between supply and demand continues to support house prices, and this ‘doesn’t look like changing in the near future.’

“Further ahead, increasing affordability issues, as price increases continue to outstrip wage growth, are likely to curb housing demand and cause price growth to ease,” he said.

Alex Gosling, chief executive officer of online estate agents HouseSimple, believes the figures suggest a housing market in remarkably good health, but low supply levels continue to distort the real picture.”

Market activity has dropped off earlier than normal in the run-up to Christmas, he said, adding that the Chancellor’s Budget decision to cut stamp duty for first time buyers will give ‘the bottom end of the market the energy boost it desperately needs.’

He warned there won’t be enough affordable properties coming onto the market, and the Government’s plan to build more affordable homes was unlikely to solve the supply crisis today. 

He said: “The property market will be glad to see the back of 2017, a year when it has had to cope with Article 50 being invoked, a calamitous general election, a rate rise and a constant stream of negative Brexit news.”

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