Halifax House Price Index: Large rise in January, but “constraints” on prices loom


HalifaxThe latest figures from the Halifax, show house prices rose by 1.1% in January and are 7.3% higher than the same time last year.

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The figures broadly echo those released last week by the Nationwide, which showed a monthly increase of 0.7% with annual house price inflation running at 8.8%.

The Land Registry, often thought to be the most accurate house price survey, puts the annual rate of growth at a far lower level, around half the figure indicated by Halifax and the Nationwide.

Activity on the rise

The Halifax also noted that activity in the housing market is on the rise, with over one million housing transactions in 2013, the first time since 2007 this barrier has been broken.

In December alone, 103,400 homes were sold, the ninth month in a row when the number of sales rose and 30% higher than the same time last year.

Commenting on the figures, Martin Ellis, Housing Economist at the Halifax, said: “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. Official schemes, such as Help to Buy, also appear to have boosted housing demand.” (Source: Halifax)

Looking to the future, Ellis said: “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.”