Halifax thinks house prices will face a headwind

Halifax thinks house prices will face a headwind

10:12 AM, 6th November 2020, About 3 years ago

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The Halifax House Price Index for October has just been released with a monthly increase of 0.3% and quarterly figures (August to October) a substantial 4.0% higher than in the preceding three months (May to July).

House prices in October were 7.5% higher than in the same month a year earlier reflecting the stimulus of the Stamp Duty holiday and the strongest growth since June 2016. The average UK house price is now £250,457.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “The average UK house price now tops a quarter of a million pounds (£250,547) for the first time in history, as annual house price inflation rose to 7.5% in October, its highest rate since mid-2016. Underlying the pace of recent price growth in the market is the 5.3% gain over the past four months, the strongest since 2006.

“However, month-on-month price growth slowed considerably, down to just 0.3% compared to 1.5% in September.

“Overall we saw a broad continuation of recent trends with the market still predominantly being driven by home-mover demand for larger houses. Since March flat prices are up by 2.0% compared to a 6.0% increase for a typical detached property. In cash terms that equates to a £2,883 increase for flats compared to a £27,371 rise for detached houses.

“This level of price inflation is underpinned by unusually high levels of demand, with latest industry figures showing home-buyer mortgage approvals at their highest level since 2007, as transaction levels continue to be supercharged by pent-up demand as a result of the spring/summer lockdown, as well as the Chancellor’s waiver on stamp duty for properties up to £500,000.

“While Government support measures have undoubtedly helped to delay the expected downturn in the housing market, they will not continue indefinitely and, as we move through autumn and into winter, the macroeconomic landscape in the UK remains highly uncertain. Though the renewed lockdown is set to be less restrictive than earlier this year, it bears out that the country’s struggle with COVID-19 is far from over. With a number of clear headwinds facing the housing market, we expect to see greater downward pressure on house prices as we move into 2021.”

HMRC Monthly property transactions data shows a fifth consecutive monthly rise in UK home sales in September. UK seasonally adjusted residential transactions in September 2020 were 98,010 – up by 21.3% from August. The latest quarterly transactions (July-September 2020) were approximately 63.6% higher than the preceding three months (April-June 2020). Year on year, transactions were 0.7% lower than September 2019 (2.4% higher on a non seasonally adjusted basis). (Source: HMRC, seasonally-adjusted figures)

Mortgage approvals rose in September to the highest level seen in 13 years. The latest Bank of England figures show the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases, rose by 7% from August to 91,454, down from a rise of 27% reported in August. Year-on-year, the September figure was39% above September 2019. Source: Bank of England, seasonally-adjusted figures)

Results from the latest (September 2020) RICS Residential Market Survey continue to show a strong upturn in activity across the market, as enquiries, agreed sales and new listings all rose for a fourthconsecutive month. New buyer enquiries displayed a net balance of +52% from +63% last month, with new instructions +39% (+45 previously) and agreed sales +55% (+61% previously). (Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) monthly report)

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