UK house prices growing at their fastest annual rate for 2 years according to Halifax, prompting claims that the property market as we enter spring is taking shape.
Halifax have said house prices rose by 0.4% in January, adding just over £1,000 to the average price of £240,054. This was enough to lift the annual rate of price growth to 4.1% - the highest figure since February 2018. As recently as October 2019, this figure was below 1%
"Boris Bounce" Boosting The Market?
Since a "Boris Bounce" mid-December election housing activity has picked up with new Nationwide figures pointing to a revival of fortunes. With data showing annual price growth at 14 month high.
Halifax have commented by saying while a number of market indicators are showing improvement signs. It's still too early to say if a corner has been turned.
Russell Galley, the lender’s managing director, added: “The recent positive figures may actually represent activity that would ordinarily have been expected to take place last year, but was delayed by economic uncertainty.”
The Halifax figures show that despite 2019 being viewed by many as a challenging year, the typical UK home is currently worth £9,000 more than it was in January 2019, when the average price was £230,784.
The index is the latest to point to a possible upturn in the housing market following the general election. The number of sales role by 6.2 per cent in December, according to HMRC, while surveyors' organisation RICS saw an increase in both the number of property sales and new enquiries from potential buyers last month.
Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and former residential chairman at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “Halifax confirms what we have been seeing at the sharp end since just before the election: that there is a modest recovery under way.” He added that the improvement was “patchy”, with a more sustained uplift only likely if there was an increase in the supply of homes for sale.
Jonathan Hopper, the managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “This is encouraging, rather than explosive, price growth. This is a property market enjoying the first flush of spring … The question now is whether this moment in the sun will turn into real momentum.”
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Source: Guardian. Halifax