Home Commercial Property Boom continues with strongest growth for 16 years, says Halifax

Boom continues with strongest growth for 16 years, says Halifax

by LLP Finance Reporter
7th Dec 20 11:37 am

Unseasonal and incredible. The latest data released this morning from Halifax has revealed that, between October and November, house prices rose by a further 1.2% and 3.8% over the past three months.

Halifax house price index figures show that at just over £253,000, the average property price has soared more than £15,000 since June – or 6.5% – the strongest five-monthly gain since 2004.

The lender also highlighted that house prices in November were up 7.6% on the year – the strongest growth since June 2016.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, comments: “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. And 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, properties sold to home-movers recorded a much higher rate of annual house price inflation (+7.9%) than first-time buyers (+5.8%). It is interesting to note 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.

“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.”

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of asset manager SPI Capital, says: “House price growth is on its strongest run since 2004, rising by an average of £15,000 since June.

“This seems positive news, against a backdrop of nerves around our economic future. It also hides much detail, and for this reason, investors should avoid using such statistics to guide individual investment decisions.

“Some subtleties the data mask include how homebuyers are overtaking first-time buyers as the driving force behind housing market growth, and how the rate of growth in detached properties has been markedly higher than in flats, as homebuyers who can afford to do so are increasingly and unsurprisingly choosing more indoor and outdoor space.

“There is also an increasing number of ‘anomalies’ in the market. For example, as new regulations have come in to prevent a repeat of the tragic Grenfell incident, hundreds of thousands of homeowners have found the values of their properties to be dramatically reduced, often with terrible personal consequences. This is just one example of a wider trend: as our housing market becomes more regulated and standards are increased, it becomes increasingly important to consider all angles, rather than relying on national market trends.”

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