Northern Ireland

Average UK house price jumped for second month in a row in November – Halifax

Figures show house prices have increased month-on-month (PA)
Figures show house prices have increased month-on-month (PA) Figures show house prices have increased month-on-month (PA)

The average house price jumped by nearly £1,400 month-on-month in November, according to an index.

Across the UK, property values jumped for the second month in a row, rising by 0.5% in November, or £1,394 in cash terms, Halifax said.

It followed a month-on-month price increase of 1.2% in October.

At £283,615, the average UK house price in November was 1.0% lower than it had been a year earlier.

Kim Kinnaird, director, Halifax Mortgages, said: “Over the last year, despite the wider economic headwinds, property prices have held up better than expected, falling by a relatively modest 1.0% on an annual basis, and still some £40,000 above pre-pandemic levels.

“The resilience seen in house prices during 2023 continues to be underpinned by a shortage of properties available, rather than any significant strengthening of buyer demand.

“That said, recent figures for mortgage approvals suggest a slight uptick in activity levels, which is likely as a result of an improving picture on affordability for homebuyers. With mortgage rates starting to ease slightly, this may be leading to increased buyer confidence, seeing people more inclined to push ahead with their home purchases.

“However, the economic conditions remain uncertain, making it hard to assess the extent to which market activity will be maintained. Other pressures – like inflation, the broader cost of living, overall employment rates and affordability – mean we expect to see downward pressure on house prices into next year.”

Property values in the South East of England have fallen particularly sharply over the past year, with a 5.7% or £22,702 average drop, the report said.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at estate agent Knight Frank, said: “The jury is still out on the sustainability of recent rises in such a thin market, but if we are not at the bottom of the current housing market slowdown, we must be close.

“The key is that sentiment has become more buoyant in recent weeks as the economic data improves and keeps downwards pressure on mortgage rates.”

Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at Bestinvest said: “While the data offers hope that stability has returned to the property market, it may be the calm before the storm if house prices weaken over the course of next year as the drag effect from the Bank of England’s 14 interest rate hikes continues to filter through to the market.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent said: “Of course, the shortage of stock is supporting house prices. There is no doubt either that recent falls in inflation and mortgage rates as well as the continuing strong employment figures have improved confidence in the market.”

Matt Thompson, head of sales at London-based estate agent Chestertons, said buyers had been feeling more motivated to continue their property search in November.

Riz Malik, director at Southend-on-Sea-based mortgage broker, R3 Mortgages told website Newspage: “Many people who gave up trying to sell their property in 2023 are planning to try again in the new year. However, 2024 looks set to stay a buyers’ market overall, particularly in the first half of the year.”

Ross McMillan, director at Glasgow-based mortgage broker, Blue Fish Mortgage Solutions, also told the website: “First-time buyers, encouraged by the more favourable trend in mortgage rates, are actively planning their early 2024 purchases. One possible dampener is the looming general election, which may see slower overall market activity and further exacerbate the lack of stock on the market.”

Here are average house prices across the UK, followed by the annual percentage change, according to Halifax:

East Midlands, £232,776, minus 4.4%

Eastern England, £322,230, minus 5.0%

London, £524,592, minus 3.8%

North East, £168,666, minus 2.6%

North West, £223,036, minus 2.1%

Northern Ireland, £189,684, 2.3%%

Scotland, £203,116, 0.0%

South East, £373,943, minus 5.7%

South West, £291,902, minus 5.0%

Wales, £215,787, minus 1.5%

West Midlands, £243,655, minus 3.3%

Yorkshire and the Humber, £202,391, minus 2.1%