Halifax released its latest house price index today for the month of February, which renewed optimism in the UK property market with both a monthly and annual increase.
The latest figures are all positive, showing a 0.1% monthly jump, a 1.7% quarterly change and a 5.1% increase year on year. The average property price across the UK sits at £219,949. These numbers are a welcoming shift in the market following some uncertainty throughout 2016.
Property expert and eMoov CEO, Russell Quirk, shared his reaction to the latest figures and his insight to what these numbers mean for the year ahead.
It would seem the cobwebs have been dusted off after the New Year hangover with these latest numbers showing the UK housing market remains resilient and is bouncing back after a seasonally slow start to 2017, reversing the downward trend seen last month.
With prices having increased both annually and monthly, albeit only marginally, it is probable that we will continue to see the property market blossom as we enter into spring, in what is traditionally the busiest time of the year.
However, the continued growth of these numbers could hinge on tomorrow’s budget announcement and whether or not the government decides to actually tackle the shortage of housing in the UK. If they do finally take a step in the right direction price growth could cool to a certain extent, as buyer thirst is quenched with a more adequate level of housing stock, although this would be a slow process.
But this is unlikely and relief will probably come in the form of a relax on stamp duty for high-end homeowners which should trickledown to the lower echelons of the market. This ease in market congestion will be as welcome for the average homeowner, as it will be for the beleaguered oligarchs from Marylebone to Kensington Palace Gardens.
If this should be the case, the drastic drop in transaction levels seen throughout £1.5m plus market could well be reversed and this additional market activity could further inflate the current market with house prices continuing to increase as a result.Russell Quirk