UK house prices experienced growth of 1.7 per cent in December in comparison to the previous month, reaching an average of £222,484 according to Halifax.
This marks the fourth consecutive monthly house price rise, as well as the largest increase since March 2016. Prices were up an annualised 6.5 per cent in the three months to December, and 2.5 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Despite this strong growth, Decembers figures remain below the peak 2016 annual increase of 10 per cent, recorded in March. March’s success was likely due to a rush preceding the stamp duty hike in April.
In a separate piece of research by Halifax, Luton was found to have recorded the largest percentage rise in house prices over the past year, with growth of 19.4 per cent in 2016 to an average of £256,636. Barking and Dagenham followed close behind, with the second biggest increase in average house prices at 18.6 per cent, followed by Dunstable, near Luton, with a 17.9 per cent rise.
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis commented: ‘Slower economic growth, pressure on employment and a squeeze on spending power, together with affordability constraints, are expected to reduce housing demand during 2017. UK house prices should, however, continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of property for sale, low levels of housebuilding, and exceptionally low interest rates.’