Christmas slowdown in UK housing market may have ‘started early this year’
ANNUAL HOUSE price growth has slowed sharply to the weakest rate seen in six years, the Halifax bank has reported, with averages falling for three months out of the last four.
The index, which is a rating across the UK, found that property values rose slightly by 0.3 per cent in the year to November, following a 1.5 per cent uplift in October.
The annual increase in November marked the lowest growth since December 2012, the bank added, with the average house price now at £224,578.
“House price growth has slowed as we approach the end of the year,” said Russell Galley, managing director.
“While this is the lowest rate of growth in six years, it remains within our forecast range of zero to three per cent 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 relatively limited supply of new and existing properties for sale, which continues to house prices nationally.”
Mike Scott, chief property analyst at estate agent Yopa, said Halifax’s figures suggest “that the usual Christmas slowdown in the housing market has started early this year, as people wait for the outcome of the current political sustain turmoil before making long-term commitments, such as buying a new home”.
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY Item Club, said: “We suspect that the housing market will be relatively lacklustre over the coming months – although there are varying performances across regions with the overall national picture dragged down by the poor performance in London and parts of the South East.
“Consequently, we expect overall house price gains across the UK over 2019 will be limited to around two per cent.”