House Price Growth ‘Remains Robust’, Says Halifax

Housing market activity is down compared to last year and house price growth has softened, but the pace of valuation inflation “remains robust”, says the UK’s largest mortgage lender.

Halifax’s index for October says valuations over the preceding three months were only marginally up on the same period of 2015, at 0.1 per cent. Quarterly rises peaked at three per cent in February.

On an annual basis, prices were 5.2 per cent up against October 2015, down from 5.8 per cent in September and a peak of ten per cent in March.

The figures confirm a softening of house price growth that has been taking place since the first quarter of this year and the increase in stamp duty on second homes in April. It is also thought the vote for Brexit may have been exacerbated the situation.

A separate index published by Nationwide last week found house prices unchanged in October, the first time in 16 months that property valuations had not increased, it said.

However, Halifax also confirmed wider evidence that confidence is returning to the market, saying house prices were up for the second month in succession, rising 1.4 per cent.

It also pointed to recent figures from HMRC, the Bank of England and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showing house sales and mortgage lending steadying since September and supply remaining near record lows.

Martin Ellis, the Halifax’s housing economist, said: “[An] expected slowdown appears to have been largely due to mounting affordability pressures, which have increasingly constrained housing demand.

“While house price growth may ease further in the coming months, very low mortgage rates and a shortage of properties available for sale should help support price levels.”

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Article take from on 07/11/2016