6th February 2014
House prices have risen 1.9% in the three months to January according to the latest Halifax house price survey. The annual growth in prices fell slightly but prices are still up 7.3% in the last 12 months from 7.5% in the year to December. The average price now stands at £175,546.
The increase in January was 1.1% which followed a small fall in December of -0.5%. House prices in the three months to January were 1.9% higher than in the previous three months. The annual growth in prices fell slightly compared with last month with prices in the three months to January 7.3% higher than in the same period last year.
Halifax say that activity is on an upward trend with housing transactions in 2013 exceeding one million for the first time since 2007. Home sales rose for the ninth successive month in December to 103,040; 30% higher than in December 2012.
The lender says that lack of supply coming on to the market adding upward pressure on prices The number of homeowners providing instructions to put their property on the market for sale increased only marginally at the end of 2013. However, this increase is still some way short of the number of new buyer inquiries. (Source: RICS.)
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “With the supply of properties being slow to respond to more buoyant market conditions, stronger demand has resulted in continued upward pressure on house prices. Demand has increased against a background of low interest rates and higher consumer confidence underpinned by signs that the economy is recovering and unemployment falling faster than expected. Official schemes, such as Help to Buy, also appear to have boosted housing demand. However, continuing pressures on household finances, as earnings fail to keep pace with consumer price inflation, are expected to remain a constraint on the rate of growth of house prices.”