The latest data and analysis from Halifax has revealed that house prices in February were 2.8% higher than in the same month a year earlier.
On a monthly basis, house prices rose by 0.3%. In the latest quarter (December to February) house prices were 2.9% higher than in the preceding three months (September to November)
Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate, Michael Stone said, “We’ve seen the dark clouds of Brexit inspired uncertainty hang over the market for some time causing a drop in price growth and transactions. However, just as they finally start to make way for blue skies and buoyant price growth, there could be another storm front rolling in in the form of the threat from the Coronavirus.
“Currently, top-line price growth is yet to see any impact but in the new build sector, business activities on foreign soils have all but ceased and many housebuilders have been unable to showcase their latest development launches to foreign investors.
“If this persists for a notable length of time the very real possibility is a reduction in foreign investment and a negative impact on house prices particularly given that new build sales and the higher price achieved tend to drive the rate of house price growth.
“However, there is certainly a silver lining in the sense that domestic buyers would benefit from a greater level of stock and given the strong demand for housing on home soil there is a very good chance this will keep the market in good health regardless.”
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr said, “Further signs that the UK property market has awoken from its politically induced slumber and is firing on most, if not all cylinders so far this year.
“That said, our latest market temperature test on buyer and seller sentiment found that 17% of people have already put their current or future plans to transact on hold due to the threat of the Coronavirus. If this hesitation were to spread as rapidly as the cause itself, we could see current growing momentum peter out as market activity stalls once again.
“The good news is that the vast majority still remain undeterred and we will no doubt see these ranks bolstered as a result of this month’s budget, with a cut in interest rates the very least that should be on the cards to help maintain market confidence.”