Research from Halifax shows homes were priced 9.7% higher in the three months to January than in the same period a year earlier. On a monthly basis prices rose by 1.7%
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said the imbalance between supply and demand continued to exert significant upward pressure on house prices which looked likely to continue over the coming months. But he expects affordability issues caused by rising house prices exceeding wage growth to curb housing demand creating a cooling effect on property prices.
Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunder Property Partner, said recent government tax announcements were stirring up sales activity. “We’re […] seeing a spike in activity in the market as buy-to-let landlords rush to seal deals before the Stamp Duty 3% hike in April. After that it is less clear as the spectre of cuts in mortgage tax relief looms next year.”
New instructions by home sellers increased slightly in December for the first time since January 2015. Despite this rise, the stock of homes available for sale declined to a record low as sales also rose, data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed.
The volume of mortgage approvals for house purchases, a forward-looking indicator of housing market performance, rose by 18% year-on-year in December to reach 70,837 transactions, Bank of England statistics revealed.