8th December 2015
House prices dipped by 0.2% in the three months to November compared to October, but were up 9% over the year to £204,552.
House prices in the latest three months (September-November) were 1.4% higher than in the preceding three months.
Prices in the three months to November were 9% higher than in the same three months a year earlier.
Mortgage approvals remain on an upward trend. The volume of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – increased by 1% between September and October and were 17% higher than in October 2014. Approvals in the three months to October were 4% higher than in the preceding three months.
Supply drops to a new record low. New instructions by home sellers fell in October for the ninth successive month (and the 14th in the last 15). This contributed to the stock of homes available for sale declining to a new record low.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, says: “House prices in the three months to November were 1.4% higher than in the previous three months. This was the smallest rise on this measure since December 2014. The annual rate eased from 9.7% in October to 9.0%.
“Solid economic growth, rising real earnings and falls in already very low mortgage rates have combined to stimulate housing demand this year.
“The increasingly acute imbalance between supply and demand is causing prices to rise at a robust pace. A situation that is unlikely to reverse significantly in the short-term.”
Jeremy Leaf, former RICS chairman and north London estate agent, says: “As always with the Halifax house-price index the information is restricted to the actions of its own customers so has its limitations, while a national figure for house-price growth should always be regarded with some scepticism.
“There is evidence of easing house-price growth but one would expect the market to slow a little at this time of year. Much will depend on which part of the country you are in – the north London property market continues to be very busy, for example, a trend we expect to continue right up until Christmas.
“Any slowdown in the market may be a short-term blip anyway, as investors are already looking at what will be coming to market in the spring, in order so that they can complete by April to avoid the higher stamp duty take.
“The lack of supply is a huge issue and will also contribute to house-price growth over coming months. Encouragingly, construction numbers are up, and the Government is pledging to build more homes, but there is no room for complacency. While everyone agrees that more building is required, the question is whether there is enough capacity in the market – builders, materials etc etc – to get the work done.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: “A number of lenders have hiked their mortgage rates in the past few days, perhaps with an eye to slowing down business over the festive period. However, this should be a short-term trend and we still expect them to price aggressively in the new year in order to get off to a fast start. There may well be some January sales on the mortgage front for borrowers to take advantage of, boosting activity into the spring.”