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House prices: a modest rise

Depositphotos 43532563 m-2015 (1)

The past 12 months have seen only a modest rise in average house prices across the country – but at least it has been an increase and not the backward step that some commentators might have envisaged.

Citing figures from the Halifax Building Society’s House Price Index, Property Reporter on the 7th of November revealed that average house prices in the UK rose by 0.9% in the year to October. During September and October prices actually fell by some 0.1%, but the quarterly increase managed to show a 0.2% increase.

As a result, the average house price in the UK now stands at £232,249.

The modest annual increase may be explained by the continued affordability of many residential mortgages and steady – but equally modest – growth in incomes, which naturally support a slight rise in house prices. Indeed, the total number of residential property transactions for the month of September had risen to 101,740 – the highest volume since August of 2017 and 5% up on the previous month.

Nevertheless, a climate of political and economic uncertainty continues to keep the housing market subdued – and the fine line between growth and recession is underscored by different analyses producing different results.

On the 5th of November, for example, estate agents Savills concluded that there has been no change in average house prices in the past three months while a report in the Guardian newspaper on the 18th of November reported that house prices in November had fallen by 1% compared to the previous month.