The latest House Price Index from Halifax has revealed that prices in the final quarter of 2017 (October – December) were 2.7% higher than in the same three months of the previous year.
In addition, house prices in the quarter were 1.3% higher than in the previous quarter (July-September).
However, on a monthly basis, prices fell by 0.6% from November following a 0.3% increase in both October and November. The fall in December is the first price drop since June 2017.
Looking forward, Halifax says it expects house price trends in 2018 to be similar to last year. Overall, annual house price growth nationally is expected to stay low and in the range of 0-3% by the end of 2018. The main drivers for this are apparently the continuing effects of the squeeze on spending power as inflation has outstripped wage growth, and the uncertainty regarding the prospects for the UK economy next year.
“As we’d anticipated, the housing market in 2017 followed a similar pattern to the previous year,” commented Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax Community Bank. “House price growth slowed, whilst building activity, completed sales and mortgage approvals for house purchase all remained flat. This has been driven by a squeeze on real wage growth and continuing uncertainty over the economy.”
“However, nationally house prices in 2018 are likely to be supported by the ongoing shortage of properties for sale, low levels of housebuilding, high employment and a continuation of low interest rates making mortgage servicing affordable in relative terms,” he added. “Overall we expect annual price growth to continue in the range of 0-3% at the end 2018.”
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