Home Residential Property House prices fall for the second consecutive month

House prices fall for the second consecutive month

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7th Feb 18 3:51 pm

According to the latest Halifax house price index

Prices in the last three months to January were 2.2 per cent higher than in the same three months a year earlier. However, the annual change in January was lower than in December (2.7 per cent).

House prices remained unchanged in the recent quarter (Nov-Jan) from the previous quarter; on this measure prices are down from the 1.3 per cent quarterly rise recorded in December.

On a monthly basis, prices fell for the second consecutive month in January (by 0.6 per cent following a 0.8 per cent decrease in December).

The average price of £223,285 at the beginning of the year is 1.9 per cent higher than in January 2017 (£219,217), however, the current price has edged down after recording £226,408 – highest on record – in November.

Key factors

  • Total UK home sales in 2017 were marginally lower (-0.6 per cent) than in 2016 at 1.23 million
  • Mortgage approvals fell by 5.7 per cent month on month in December to 61,039, the lowest level since January 2015.
  • Decline in instructions for sale continues and have no falles for 23 consecutive months.
  • The number of first-time buyers has gone up by 6 per cent in the last 12 months, continuing an upward trend of six years.
  • First-time buyers now account for half of all house purchases with a mortgage, an increase from 36 per cent a decade ago.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax Community Bank, said:

“Annual house price rises have slowed from 2.7 per cent in December to 2.2 per cent in January – the lowest rate since July last year. We’ve seen a monthly decline as well as the quarterly rate of growth flattening out.

“Although employment levels grew by 102,000 in the three months to November, household finances are still under pressure as consumer prices continue to grow faster than wages. Additionally, it’s still too early to see any impact for first-time buyers from the abolition of stamp duty on purchases of up to £300,000, which was announced in the November Budget.

“Despite the recent rise in the Bank of England Base Rate, mortgage rates are still very low. This, combined with an ongoing acute shortage of properties for sale, will continue to underpin house prices over the coming months.”

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