House prices rise for fourth straight month, Halifax says while hailing ‘positive start’ to 2024

Median house prices rose for the fourth month in a row, according to the latest figures from Halifax.

The mortgage bank revealed that average rates rose by 1.3 per cent in January alone.

A typical home now costs £291,029, which is almost £4,000 more than it did in December.

A resurgence in prices in recent months means house prices have risen by 2.5 per cent year-on-year, based on Halifax data.

Above: The average house price in January was £291,029, up 1.3% or, in monetary terms, £3,924 compared to December 2023.

Above: The average house price in January was £291,029, up 1.3% or, in monetary terms, £3,924 compared to December 2023.

Kim Kinnaird, director of Halifax Mortgage, said the lower mortgage rates helped reverse the successive monthly declines in house prices recorded between April and September last year.

Mortgage lenders began cutting interest rates from September, and these cuts will continue through 2024. In January alone, more than 50 mortgage lenders cut their residential interest rates – some more than once.

While the cuts have largely stopped over the past two weeks,… Some lenders have increased interest ratesBorrowers who secure the cheapest deals can now get an interest rate of just under 4 percent when locking in for five years or just above 4 percent when locking in for two years.

“The recent reduction in mortgage interest rates from lenders as competition increases, coupled with fading inflationary pressures and a still resilient labor market, have contributed to increased confidence between buyers and sellers,” Kinnaird said. “This has resulted in a positive start to the housing market for 2024.”

However, affordability pressures remain given that mortgage rates are still much higher than they were before when rates first rose in 2022, Kinnaird said.

She added: “Despite the increase in housing activity in recent months, interest rates remain high compared to their historic lows seen in recent years, and demand continues to exceed supply.”

For those looking to buy a first home, the average deposit is now £53,414. It’s no surprise that nearly two-thirds of new buyers get a foot on the ladder Buy now in common names.

“Looking ahead, affordability challenges are likely to remain and further modest declines should not be ruled out, against a backdrop of broader uncertainty in the economic environment.”

Annual rise: After the fourth consecutive month of rising home prices, the pace of annual growth is now 2.5%

Annual rise: After the fourth consecutive month of rising home prices, the pace of annual growth is now 2.5%

The market is on the rise according to real estate agents

Real estate agents widely report that Halifax’s numbers are in line with what they’re seeing on the ground in the housing market.

In fact, some believe that home prices may begin to rise sharply in some areas.

Simon Gerrard, managing director of estate agents Martin Gerrard, said: “Last year, many people put their property searches on hold in the face of wider economic turmoil.

“But now, the economy is starting to stabilize, and it is encouraging that major lenders are responding in the right way to control inflation by lowering interest rates.

“While the affordability of homes at the moment is very good, the rapid increase in population and complete lack of supply of new housing means that prices will then start to rise sharply, especially in London.”

“In our offices, the result has been more valuations, listings and especially showings,” added Jeremy Liff, a north London estate agent and former chairman of Rex Residential.

“The general view is that 2024 will be an even more fruitful year for the UK property market, and we are already seeing early signs of this, with a fourth consecutive monthly increase in house prices,” said Mark von Grundhehr, director at Benham & Reeves. and a sharp increase in new sales listings and the number of buyers making offers.

“It’s really all systems go at the moment, and as the market continues to build, property values ​​will continue to mature.”

Verona Frankish, CEO of online estate agent Yopa, believes the housing market will continue to build momentum as the year progresses.

“Looking ahead, it is likely that the real estate market has not only bottomed out in terms of the decline in home prices that we saw last year, but it is also possible that interest rates have now peaked,” Frankish said.

“This combination of factors will motivate both buyers and sellers equally and as the year progresses, we expect further momentum to build.”

Building momentum?  Agents say they are seeing more activity in the housing market

Building momentum? Agents say they are seeing more activity in the housing market

Different housing markets

The average house price in the UK will not reflect everyone’s experience, given that the property market is made up of thousands of small, independent markets.

Even when looking at different regions of the UK, it is already possible to see significant differences.

Northern Ireland recorded the strongest growth of all countries or regions within the UK, according to Halifax. Home prices there rose 5.3 percent year-on-year.

Scotland and Wales saw positive growth of 4 per cent year on year, according to Halifax.

Typical prices in northwest England rose by 3.2 per cent, while Yorkshire and the Humber saw prices rise by 2.8 per cent.

Prices in the South East fell the most last month compared to other areas of the UK, with homes selling for 2.3 per cent less than this time last year.

While London retains the top spot for highest average house prices across all regions, at £529,528, prices in the capital fell by 0.4 per cent year-on-year.

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(Tags for translation) Daily Mail

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