This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.
In its latest House Price Index, Halifax recorded higher
annual house price growth for the month of December than Nationwide did in its
most recent report.
According to Halifax, house prices increased by an average
of 1.3% on an annual basis in December, which was up from 0.3% in the previous
month. Nationwide, on the other hand, found that annual
house price growth was down to an average of 0.5% in December.
On a quarterly basis, house prices in the three months from
October to December were 0.4% lower than in the preceding three months (July to
September), reports Halifax.
Month-on-month, house prices rose by an average of 2.2% in
December, following a 1.2% decline in November.
The average UK property value was £229,729 in the last month
Halifax also looked at housing market activity in its
report, for the month of November (for which the latest figures are available).
The number of home sales in November of 100,930 was just 100
higher than the same figure for October. On an annual basis, sales in November
were 1.8% higher than the same month of 2017. There has also been a 2.1%
However, on a longer view basis, less change is evident, as
the November sales figure is marginally below the five-year average of 101,587.
Bank of England data shows that the number of mortgages
approved to finance a home purchase – a leading indicator of completed sales –
fell by 4.5% to 63,728. October had seen a relatively high approval rate for
2018, and, while there was a drop in November, approvals were still not far
below last year’s average of 64,955.
The November 2018 UK
Residential Market Survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(RICS) showed a drop on nearly every measure assessed. The new buyer enquiries
gauge fell to -21%, from -15% previously, indicating that homebuyers are more
cautious. Furthermore, the newly agreed sales net balance moved to -15%, from
-10%, suggesting a decline in national sales transactions.
Russell Galley, the Managing Director of Halifax, comments
on the report’s findings: “In
December, the average cost of a home was £229,729 and annual house price growth
stood at 1.3%. A stronger monthly growth figure for December reversed a weak
November figure; monthly fluctuations are common, leaving the annual figure
very firmly in the range of 0-3%, as we forecast at the start of the year.
“In 2019, we’re
expecting continued stability in house prices, with between 2% and 4% price
inflation. This is slightly stronger than 2018, but still fairly subdued by
modern comparison. However, this expectation will clearly be dependent on the
Brexit outcome, with risks to both sides of our forecast.
“Of course, there are
a number of other factors that will impact the market in 2019. The need to
raise a significant deposit still acts as a restraint for those looking to buy
a new home, limiting the number of potential purchasers.
“This year, mortgage
payment affordability is more difficult to predict. There are competing
pressures, with signs of positive annual pay growth supporting affordability,
but risks associated with the potential for higher interest rates are pulling
in the other direction. On balance, we do not see affordability pushing house
price growth significantly in either direction.
“The shortage of
homes for sale and continuing low levels of housebuilding both constrain the
supply of houses, and, in turn, support high prices, which will continue to
inhibit demand in 2019.”
Roberts, the Director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, also responds to
the figures: “Despite annual house
price growth still being on the rise, we’re seeing much more sustainable levels
of growth. Couple this with lenders lowering interest rates for small deposit
buyers, and first time buyers are getting much-needed support to get onto the
“It’s not just lenders
that are stepping up to help buyers, though. Government schemes, such as Help
to Buy and Shared Ownership, continue to play a positive role in our housing
market, too. With a wide range of innovative solutions and support on hand for
buyers, we hope to see more and more individuals take their step into
homeownership over the year ahead.”
Lucy Pendleton, the Founder Director of
independent estate agent James Pendleton, adds: “The country has marched gamely up to Christmas, and,
with three months to go before Brexit, is refusing to blink. Last month, there
were fears the Brexit switch had been flipped, as house price growth plumbed
“It looked for a moment
like the UK could have dived for cover into wait-and-see territory in November,
after a year in which Brexit appeared to cast a remarkably short shadow at
times. However, these figures breathe new life into claims Britons think this
storm can be weathered.
“The imminent prospect of
the UK’s most traumatic geopolitical lurch back in time is simply failing to
tame buyer confidence, which is proving to be remarkably resilient. Even in the
face of a no-deal Brexit, Britons are betting on the UK making a success of it,
rather than sitting on their hands and dodging untimely financial risks.”
Guy Harrington, the CEO of
lender Glenhawk, concludes: “These latest figures continue to show that the
UK housing market is resilient to external factors, as a combination of a
chronic lack of supply, due to a clunky and outdated planning system, and
the need for more starter homes continues to keep the market buoyant. Overall,
a positive sign amongst the train wreck that is Brexit.”
Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources.
When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.
Just Landlords is a trading name of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909
Website by Ampology Digital