House price growth in Bri­tain falls to six-year low

Iran Daily - - Global Economy -

House prices in the UK are ris­ing at their slow­est an­nual pace in six years, with growth fall­ing from 1.5pc in Oc­to­ber to 0.3 per­cent in Novem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures from Hal­i­fax.

On a monthly ba­sis, house prices fell by 1.4 per­cent, mark­ing three monthly falls out of the last four. The av­er­age house price is now £224,578, around £3,000 cheaper than in Oc­to­ber, tele­ wrote.

Rus­sell Gal­ley, Hal­i­fax’s manag­ing di­rec­tor, said that while growth had fallen, it re­mained within the bank’s fore­cast range of 0-3 per­cent for 2018.

“High em­ploy­ment, wage growth and his­tor­i­cally low mort­gage rates con­tinue to make home own­er­ship more af­ford­able for many, though the need to raise a sig­nif­i­cant de­posit still acts as some­thing of a re­straint on the mar­ket.

“This is largely off­set by a rel­a­tively lim­ited sup­ply of new and ex­ist­ing prop­er­ties for sale, which con­tin­ues to sus­tain house prices na­tion­ally,” he said.

Last month, ri­val lender Na­tion­wide warned that the avail­abil­ity of homes in the prop­erty mar­ket was “pretty much at an all time low”.

The build­ing so­ci­ety’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Joe Garner said that Brexit was partly to blame for hold­ing back in­vest­ment and damp­en­ing ac­tiv­ity in the UK hous­ing mar­ket.

He said: “House prices re­main rel­a­tively sta­ble, [we’re] not pre­dict­ing any ma­jor change to that, but the avail­able stock of hous­ing in the mar­ket is pretty much at an all time low,” he said. “[There’s] pent-up de­mand with rel­a­tively few prop­er­ties on the mar­ket.”

Na­tion­wide’s own house price in­dex, pub­lished last week, painted a slightly rosier pic­ture of Bri­tain’s prop­erty mar­ket. It found that house price growth picked up slightly be­tween Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber, ris­ing from 1.6 per­cent to 1.9 per­cent, while monthly growth was also stronger than ex­pected at 0.3 per­cent.

Hal­i­fax’s house price in­dex is based on homes bought with mort­gages, ex­clud­ing coun­cil house sales, shared own­er­ship and help-to-buy schemes, while Na­tion­wide’s is based on owner-oc­cu­pier house pur­chase trans­ac­tions in­volv­ing a mort­gage. Buy-to-let and cash deals are not counted.

Andy Solo­man of Yomdel, an on­line chat ser­vice used by es­tate agents, said that while there was a sea­sonal as­pect to the prop­erty mar­ket slow­down, “with fur­ther com­pli­ca­tions likely to arise be­fore a deal is reached on Brexit, price growth will no doubt re­main er­ratic head­ing into 2019 as mar­ket uncer­tainty re­mains”.

Jonathan Sa­muels, chief ex­ec­u­tive of prop­erty lender Oc­tane Cap­i­tal, agreed, say­ing that “without want­ing to ap­pear overly pes­simistic, there’s every chance 2019 could be 2009 all over again”.

The UK hous­ing mar­ket has slowed since the EU ref­er­en­dum in 2016, and many economists last year pre­dicted growth would flat­line in 2018. How­ever, growth has mostly re­mained within the 1-3 per­cent range for the past 12 months.

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