House prices rise 7.7% in twelve months says Halifax

6th December 2013

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House prices have risen 7.7% in the last twelve months, and rose 1.1% in November says Halifax. The average house price in the UK is now valued at £174,910. Prices rose 2.1% in the three months to the end of November.

However Halifax said that the squeeze on incomes could restrain house prices in future.

“We are also seeing signs of a revival in housebuilding, which should help bring supply and demand into better balance and curb upward pressure on prices over the medium and longer terms,” said Martin Ellis, chief economist at the Halifax.

The lender says that the average price is still 12% below the August 2007 peak.

Nationwide Building Society reported a 6.5% annual house price rise in its survey a few weeks previously.

Demand for housing has been bolstered by Britain’s Help to Buy and Funding for Lending programmes. The Bank of England and the government last week decided to refocus the FLS scheme exclusively on business lending.

It is the 10th consecutive monthly increase in house prices as measured by Halifax, the longest such run since early 2003.

Alexander Gosling, director of the online estate agents Housesimple.co.uk, says: “Ten straight months of rising prices, and in some parts of Britain the housing market has gone from hot to hyper.

“After fanning the flames by making cheap money available to mortgage lenders, the Bank of England is now refocusing its Funding for Lending Scheme elsewhere.

“But this will do little to dampen a fire which is well and truly alight. Demand is outstripping supply in many areas and prices are responding accordingly. The Help to Buy scheme is being extended to more banks, and its impact on first time buyers is trickling up through the housing chain.

“With mortgages cheap and more available than ever, buyers are being spurred on by a seductive blend of confidence that prices will rise and fear that if they fail to pile in now they will be left behind.“For now sellers are mostly resisting the temptation to ramp up asking prices beyond what the market will stand, with our figures showing that, nationally, properties are selling for 98% of asking price.”

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