9 Nov

Average UK house prices hit record high

The average price of a UK house is at record levels, according to figures from the Halifax. The bank’s monthly House Price Index revealed that the average price of £225,826, the highest ever recorded and up almost £6000 or 2.8 percent from January’s average of £219,741.

The growth in costs from late summer into early autumn is the fastest recorded in the Halifax’s index since January of this year.

The House Price Index showed that more than 100,000 UK homes are sold every month, a figure that has remained broadly the same for all of 2017.

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Supply still failing to meet demand

However, mortgage approvals fell in September for the second month in succession, while both new sales instructions and buyer enquiries fell in September. A shortage of properties for sale has been blamed for the slowing of sales instructions.

Meanwhile, confidence in UK house prices has fallen, according to the Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker, a device that tracks consumer sentiment on whether house prices will be higher or a lower in a year’s time.

When questioned, people said raising a deposit and fears over job security were the biggest barriers they faced in buying a house. However, despite the recent rise in the Bank of England’s Base Rate, only 36 percent of those asked said they were worried about an increase in interest rates affecting their repayments.

Increased pressure on household finances

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said: “The annual rate of growth has continued to rise for the third month in succession, rising from 4 percent in September to 4.5 percent in October.

“The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continues to support house prices and is likely to do so over the coming months.

“Increasing pressure on household finances and continuing affordability concerns are some of the factors likely to dampen buyer demand.”