House prices have risen by nearly 7% over the past year according to the UK’s largest mortgage lender.
The latest figures from the Halifax show house prices have risen by 6.9% over the past 12 months and are up 0.7% on this time last month.
According to the Halifax the average house price now sits at £171,911, around £10,000 higher than this time last year, but still well down on the 2007 peak.
Despite the rise, over the past 12 months, which is broadly in line with the figures issued by the Nationwide Building Society last week, the pace of house price growth appears to be slowing; the Halifax reports that the three months to October saw the smallest quarterly rise since May.
Only time will tell whether low interest rates, combined with the Help to Buy scheme will mean growth continues at the current rates or becomes more subdued as we head into 2014.
Commenting on the latest figures, Martin Ellis, Housing Economist at the Halifax, said: “House prices in the three months to October were 1.6% higher than in the previous three months; this rate is below the increases of 2.0-2.1% recorded in each of the previous four months. Despite the slowdown in the quarterly rate, the annual rate continued to rise with prices in the three months to October 6.9% higher than in the same three months last year.”
Ellis continued: “Demand has increased this year, putting upward pressure on house prices and increasing levels of activity. Low interest rates, and higher consumer confidence supported by the increasing evidence that a sustainable economic recovery may now be underway, are helping to increase housing demand. Schemes, such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, also appear to have boosted demand.”
“Despite increases in the past year both house prices and sales remain below the levels reached at the height of the last housing market cycle in 2006/2007. Sentiment towards selling has also improved in recent months in response to the pick-up in the market, which should help to increase the availability of properties on the market over the coming months.” (Source: Halifax)