November house prices jump 1.2% – Halifax

UK house prices in November were 1.2% higher than in October, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

The data showed that in the latest quarter, from September to November, house prices were 3.8% higher than in the preceding three months, between June and August.

House prices in November were also 7.6% higher than in the same month a year ago – the strongest growth since June 2016 – to take the average UK house price to £253,243.

“At just over £253,000, the average property price has risen by more than £15,000 since June,” said Halifax managing director, Russell Galley. In percentage terms that equates to 6.5% – the strongest five-monthly gain since 2004.

“With mortgage approvals at a 13-year high, the current market continues to be shaped by a desire for more space, the move from urban to rural locations and indications of a trend for more home working in the future.

“While industry data shows agreed sales and new instructions to sell fell to their lowest level in the past five months, both remain at historically high levels and well above seasonal norms.”

As the March deadline for the stamp duty holiday approaches, the index revealed that properties sold to home-movers recorded a higher rate of annual house price inflation (+7.9%) than first-time buyers (+5.8%).

Galley highlighted that the stamp duty saving of £2,500 on a home costing £250,000 is now “far outweighed” by the average increase in property prices since July.

He added: “The housing market has been much more resilient than many predicted at the outset of the pandemic, and indeed many households remain confident about further price growth next year.

“However, the economic environment continues to look challenging. With unemployment predicted to peak around the middle of next year, and the UK’s economy not expected to fully recover the ground lost over 2020 for a number of years, a slowdown in housing market activity is likely over the next 12 months.”

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