UK house price growth picks up, says Halifax

The latest Halifax property index has shown that UK house price growth increased in November for the first time since March this year.

Halifax property index November 2016
The annual pace of house price growth in the UK increased in November for the first time in eight months, according to the latest Halifax property index.According to Halifax's calculations, the average price of £218,002 last month represented a year-on-year rise of six per cent, the first time since March the index had seen an increase in the annual rate of growth.

"Annual rate on a steady downward trend"

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said, "Despite November's pick-up, the annual rate has been on a steady downward trend in recent months since reaching a peak of 10 per cent in March."Heightened affordability pressures, resulting from a sustained period of house price growth in excess of earnings rises, appear to have dampened housing demand, contributing to the slowdown in house price inflation. "Very low mortgage rates and an ongoing, and acute, shortage of properties available for sale should help support price levels although annual house price growth may slow over the coming months."

Positive signs of stabilising house prices says Property Partner

Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner and a member of the residential committee of the British Property Federation, commented, "We’re seeing positive signs that house prices are stabilising despite a softening in annual growth due to concerns over affordability and demand from investors. "The dominant narrative for the housing market is still Brexit-related uncertainty but the past three months have shown steady upward movements. Low borrowing rates, a shortage of properties for sale and the longer-term paucity of housing supply across the UK are underpinning prices, proof that the residential property market is able to withstand difficult political and economic conditions."Property has always been a long-term investment and in the year ahead, according to recent sentiment surveys, the feeling is that house prices will continue to rise." 

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"Surprisingly resilient" says Octopus Property

Mario Berti, CEO of Octopus Property, said that despite the turbulent economic and political backdrop, the property market remained surprisingly resilient."Many predicted the worst for the UK housing market in the aftermath of the June 23 Brexit vote, but prices so far have been supported by very tight supply, the low cost of borrowing and low unemployment," he said."Next year, demand may be tempered by rising inflation, which would hit consumer sentiment and spending power, as well as uncertainty over the precise nature of Brexit." 

Garrington observe "no reckless acceleration"

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, added, "With every passing month, the property market’s post-Brexit tumble is getting steadily smaller in the rear view mirror. Prices are picking up speed slowly and steadily. This time there’s no reckless acceleration, but rather a smooth and cautious progression though the gears. "The Halifax’s market confidence tracker illustrates perfectly the ‘business as usual’ stoicism. It found consumer confidence in the housing market is at its lowest level for three years, but that nearly four times as many people expect prices to rise as think they will fall in the next year."We’re seeing that practical approach on the front line, too. Many would-be buyers who had been weighing up the impact of Brexit on their finances before committing have given up trying to read the runes, and have now morphed into determined buyers. "Prices are being supported by the acute shortage of supply, but with no interest rate rises on the horizon and an economy that stubbornly refuses to be blown off course, buyer demand is recovering well."

For related news and features, visit our Residential Property section.

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