Halifax House Price Index: Property values rise for fifth month – but not in this one area | Personal Finance | Finance


Average UK rose by 0.4 percent in February, marking the fifth monthly increase in a row, said.

rices grew by 1.7 percent annually, compared with 2.3 percent the previous month.

The average UK house price was £291,699 in February, around £1,000 more than the previous month.

However, some regions are still awaiting an upward trend. According to Halifax’s latest House Price Index, properties in Eastern England experienced the most significant decline last month compared to other regions across the UK.

Homes here are currently selling for an average of £329,927 (-0.8 percent), a drop of £2,794 since the same time in 2023.

Meanwhile, the “strongest performing region” is Northern Ireland, which has seen the largest upward trend with prices rising by five percent annually.

Properties in Northern Ireland now cost an average of £195,956, which is £9,359 more than the same time in February 2023.

The North West also saw positive growth of +4.4 percent on an annual basis to £232,128. The North East (+4.2 percent) and Wales (+4.1 percent) also recorded strong increases over the last year.

London continues to have the highest average house price across all of the regions, at £536,996. Prices in the capital have increased +1.5 percent and is the first positive annual growth seen since January 2023.

Kim Kinnaird, director at Halifax Mortgages, said the figures continue to suggest a “relatively stable start” to 2024 and align with other “promising” signs of increased housing activity, such as mortgage approvals.

Ms Kinnaird continued: “In fact, the average price tag of a home is now only around £1,800 off the peak seen in June 2022. While it is encouraging that we’ve seen growth in recent months, what happens next remains uncertain.

“Although lower mortgage rates, alongside expectations of Bank of England interest rate cuts this year, should help buyer confidence in the short term, the downward trend on rates is showing signs of fading.

“Even with growing wages and inflation falling back, raising a deposit and affording a sizeable mortgage remains challenging, especially for those looking to join the property ladder, so it remains a possibility that there could be a slowdown in the housing market this year.”

Sam Mitchell, CEO of Purplebricks commented: “The housing market has been on the path to recovery in recent months, helped along by consecutive holds on interest rates from the Bank of England and banks actively competing on mortgage rates.

“But this recovery remains fragile, and the Government had a prime opportunity during yesterday’s Spring Budget to stabilise this upward trajectory. Regrettably, this was an opportunity missed.

“The lack of a concrete decision from The Chancellor on stamp duty cuts has a very real potential to derail this newfound progress. This may wrongly and unnecessarily delay buying and selling decisions, as people are left holding out for a change that might come later in the year.”

Meanwhile, Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark said the outlook remains “positive” for potential buyers and sellers.

He said: “Our member agents reported that there has been an 89 percent increase in new properties coming onto the market and a 129 percent in the number of market appraisals undertaken.

“The Bank of England recently stated that the central bank does not have to meet its target of cutting inflation down to two percent before they start cutting interest rates.

“In order to persuade more people this is the year to sell their home, the Bank of England should start considering reducing interest rates to ease borrowing costs for aspiring homeowners who deserve some economic confidence after experiencing turbulence since 2020.”

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