The latest numbers from the Halifax House Price Index show a 1,5% annual increase in property values across the UK, with a 0.7% monthly rise to an average of £227,869.
Although prices increased on a monthly, quarterly an annual basis, the rate at which they have climbed has fallen to it’s lowest since March 2013. This has been a current trend across many of the UK house price reports as Brexit uncertainty has resulted in many buyers and sellers refraining from a sale. So while properties are selling, they aren’t selling in the quantity that we would usually see at this time of year.
Despite this low rate of growth, UK house prices are expected to remain within the 3% range where growth for the year is concerned, and October bucked the previous trend of double consecutive monthly price declines to register positive growth. The continued increase in property prices has been attributed to the continued affordability of mortgage products, a lack of housing stock to meet demand and a reduction in the rate of unemployment.
To read Halifax’sfull report, click here.
The slowest rate of growth in over five and a half years certainly suggests that this is how the UK market will see out 2018, not with a bang but with a whimper. However, this is no reason to run for the hills having been widely predicted, with house prices at least, still up annually and both quarterly and monthly.
A further freeze in interest rates should help stimulate the market through the volatile cocktail of mortgage affordability and lack of housing stock. Although this will help the Government keep homeowning voters on the side through artificially inflated house price growth in the short term, it simply isn’t sustainable in the long term.
A continued failure to address the UK housing crisis, which seems inevitable after the less than satisfactory Autumn Budget last week, could have grave consequences.Russell Quirk