The UK has seen the average property price rise over four per cent in a year, from £230,784 in January 2019 to £240,054 in January 2020, a new report has found.
The Halifax House Price Index, a key barometer of UK house price changes, has found that average UK property values were 4.1 per cent higher year on year as of January 2020, meaning after three years of market uncertainty, the UK property market has rebounded from its largely flat performance. This is obviously very positive news for UK property professionals working across multiple sectors.
There were some monthly falls throughout 2019-20 however. For example, the Halifax House Price index saw average prices fall in March 2019 (by -0.3 per cent), in May (by – 0.1 per cent), in September (by -0.4 per cent) and October 2019 (-0.1 per cent). However, overall there was a significant upward trend.
House prices this year, in 2020, have started with a modest monthly increase, rising by 0.4% in January following the stronger gains of 1.8% and 1.2% seen in December and November respectively.
The index also found that:
- On a monthly basis, house prices rose by an average of 0.4% over the past year
- In the latest quarter (November to January) house prices were 2.3% higher than in the preceding three months (August to October), closely reflecting the post-election boom the UK has been enjoying
Further housing activity of note
- HMRC monthly property transactions data showed a rise in UK home sales in December. The UK’s seasonally adjusted residential transactions in December were 104,670 – up by 6.2% from November and the highest level since March 2016. Year-on-year, transactions in December 2019 were approximately 6.8% higher than December 2018 (11.2% higher on a non-seasonally adjusted basis).
- Mortgage approvals have risen. Bank of England figures show that the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases was 67,241 in December – this represents a 2.6% month on month rise, following a rise of 0.8% in November. Year on year growth was 4.6%.
- The latest set of results from the December 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey have shown an uplift in sentiment with key metrics moving into positive territory. Agreed sales moved up from a net balance of -6% in November to +9% in December – the first positive balance since May 2019. Instructions to sell also rose from -7 to +9. Buyer demand is also up to +17% from -5% in November. Looking ahead, a net balance of +31% respondents now anticipate transactions will rise over the next three months.
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “A number of important market indicators continue to show signs of improvement. We have seen a pick-up in transactions with more buyer and seller activity consistent with a reduction in uncertainty in the UK economy.
“Looking ahead, we still expect a moderate rate of house price growth over the course of the year. Demand is likely to continue to exceed the supply of properties for sale across the UK, with the subdued pace of new building also adding to upward price pressure. The environment for mortgage affordability should stay largely favourable. However, with the growth in rental costs accelerating, many first-time buyers will continue to face a significant challenge in raising necessary deposits.”
Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, commented on the figures: “Today’s uplift sets the tone for the so-called “Boris bounce” expected to take effect in the coming months. Property spending is expected to reach record levels this year and first-time buyer activity is already on the up.”
Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and sale agent Benham and Reeves, commented: “Given the months of market decline and the seasonalities involved, this turn around is really quite remarkable and demonstrates the absolute resilience of our bricks and mortar market.”
The experts above now believe we can expect more house price rises in 2020 as confidence returns to the market following the UK’s eventual EU exit on 31 January. It is also hoped the Government will encourage further market recovery in its spring budget on 11 March.