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Biggest monthly house price jump of the year in December ‒ Halifax

  • 08/01/2020
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Biggest monthly house price jump of the year in December ‒ Halifax
House prices grew by an average of 1.7 per cent in December, the largest monthly rise seen in the whole of 2019, the latest Halifax house price index has revealed.

As a result, the average property is now worth £238,963.

On a quarterly basis prices rose by one per cent, while over the year as a whole they jumped by four per cent, at the top end of what the lender had forecast for 2019.

Russell Galley (pictured), managing director of Halifax, suggested that the uncertainty in the economy was likely to ease in 2020, which would boost transaction numbers and push price growth higher.

He continued: “Longer-term issues such as the shortage of homes for sale and low levels of house-building will continue to limit supply, while the ongoing challenges faced by prospective buyers in raising deposits will serve to constrain demand. As a result, we expect a modest pace of gains to continue into next year.”

Unlocking demand

Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at online broker Trussle, said that the jump in house price growth suggests that buyers and sellers who were holding off due to economic and political uncertainty were starting to act, and called on the government to find innovative ways to support first-time buyers now that the Help to Buy ISA has been closed.

House price growth is increasing, which means the deposit that would-be homeowners need is rising too,” he continued.

No end to the price war

Adrian Anderson, director of Anderson Harris, agreed that the rise in house prices would not be welcomed by first-time buyers who are already struggling with affordability and raising a deposit.

He continued: “An increase in high loan-to-value mortgages has offered them some respite but values are still incredibly high compared to wages which is why the Bank of Mum and Dad is involved in virtually every first-time buyer mortgage we see.”

Anderson noted his firm had seen a significant number of enquiries from new purchasers already this year, adding: “There is a price war among lenders and it appears mortgage rates will stay low this year.”

Don’t mention the B word

Gareth Lewis, director of lender MT Finance, questioned whether this was the early signs of a “Boris bounce”, adding that the next month will offer more clarity over whether this is simply the result of people trying to get transactions completed by the end of the year.

“People are talking about the Budget now and more normal politics, rather than fixating on the doom and gloom of what might happen with Brexit,” he continued. 

“Before we get too carried away, there are still some huge ramifications as to what Brexit means but it is not the hot topic of conversation.”

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