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Lenders Publish Latest UK Property Market Figures

The latest House Price Index from Halifax has revealed that UK house prices in the three months to November were 6.0% higher than in the same three months of 2015, and 0.8% higher than in the preceding quarter of 2016.

It has also shown that house prices increased by 0.2% between October and November, which was the third monthly rise in a row.

Key Figures

Other key figures published by Halifax include:

  • Home sales in the UK increased by 1% between September and October. Overall, sales have largely stabilised in recent months following the distortions earlier in the year due to the increase in stamp duty on second home and buy to let purchases in April. However, sales during the three months from August to October were still 8% lower than in the same period last year.
  • The volume of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – were unchanged in the three months to October compared with the preceding three months. On a monthly basis, approvals increased for the second successive month, rising by 6% between September and October; indicating a likely increase in home sales over the coming months.
  • The stock of homes available for sale fell in October; offsetting the previous month’s modest rise and taking the stock to its lowest ever recorded level.
  • Confidence in the UK housing market has fallen to its lowest point in three years but the majority of consumers apparently still expect prices to rise.

Comment by Halifax

“House prices in the three months to November were 0.8% higher than in the previous quarter,” commented Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. “This increase followed little movement in prices on this quarterly measure in both September and October. The annual rate of growth also increased, rising for the first time for eight months, from 5.2% in October to 6.0%.”

“Despite November’s pick-up, the annual rate has been on a steady downward trend in recent months since reaching a peak of 10.0% in March,” he added. “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.”

Nationwide Publishes Its Figures

Nationwide has also recently published figures relating to the UK housing market, which show that annual house price growth slowed slightly in November to 4.4%, from 4.6% in October.  House prices increased by 0.1% month on month in November.

“There are some signs that, despite the uncertain economic outlook, demand conditions have strengthened a little in recent months, reflecting the impact of solid labour market conditions and historically low borrowing costs,” explained Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist. “Mortgage approvals increased in October, and surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have increased modestly.”

“The relatively low number of homes on the market and modest rates of housing construction are likely to keep the demand/supply balance fairly tight in the quarters ahead, even if economic conditions weaken, as most forecasters expect,” he added.

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