The latest Halifax House Price Index showed that the average cost of a UK property increased 2.8% during August to October, compared to the same period in 2014. The average house price now totals £205,240, rising by 1.1% between September and October.
The monthly increase follows last month’s fall in house prices by 0.9%. However, Halifax noted that the quarter-on-quarter change is a more reliable indicator of the underlying trend in house prices.
Jeremy Leaf, former RICS chairman and north London estate agent, said the latest house price figures were worrying and risked marginalising first-time buyers ‘even further’.
“There is not enough balance in the housing market and there are still significant barriers to entry, despite lower mortgage rates,” he added.
“If prices continue their upwards trend, it doesn’t bode well for those trying to get themselves into a new home early in the new year. Prices are high and supply low – that imbalance makes life very tricky for buyers.”
Despite falling by 2.5% in September, the data showed that mortgage approvals experienced an upward trend in the third quarter, rising by 4% on the previous three months. Approvals in the three months to September were 10% higher than the same quarter in 2014.
Likewise, home sales increased by 1% between August and September to reach 106,030 – the second successive monthly rise. Sales in the three months to September were 4.4% higher than the second quarter of 2015.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “Improving economic conditions and household finances, together with sustained low mortgage rates, have boosted housing demand during 2015. Strengthening demand is filtering through in to higher sales levels although the ongoing shortage of supply is acting as a significant constraint on activity.
“The imbalance between supply and demand is likely to persist over the coming months, maintaining upward pressure on house prices.”