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Halifax House Price Index

The Halifax has become the latest institution to publish figures which show that Britain’s housing market is going from strength to strength.

Its House Price Index for January 2014 reveals that:

  • House prices in the latest three months (November 2013-January 2014) were 1.9% higher than in the preceding three months (August 2013-October 2013).
  •  Prices in the three months to January were 7.3% higher than in the same three months a year earlier.
  •  House prices increased by 1.1% in January. This followed a small fall in December (-0.5%). 
  • Activity is on an upward trend with housing transactions in 2013 exceeding one million for the first time since 2007. Home sales rose for the ninth successive month in December to 103,040; 30% higher than in December 2012. The number of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator, according to the Halifax, of completed house sales – was 9% higher in the three months to December than in the previous quarter and 30% higher than in the same three months of 2012. 
  • Lack of supply coming on to the market is adding upward pressure on prices. The number of homeowners providing instructions to put their property on the market for sale increased only marginally at the end of 2013 and this increase is still some way short of the number of new buyer enquiries.

 “With the supply of properties being slow to respond to more buoyant market conditions, stronger demand has resulted in continued upward pressure on house prices. Demand has increased against a background of low interest rates and higher consumer confidence underpinned by signs that the economy is recovering and unemployment falling faster than expected,” commented housing economist, Martin Ellis. “Official schemes, such as Help to Buy, also appear to have boosted housing demand. However, continuing pressures on household finances, as earnings fail to keep pace with consumer price inflation, are expected to remain a constraint on the rate of growth of house prices.”

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