UK house prices: Mild respite for home buyers as market cools

Chris Papadopoullos
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House prices remain relatively buoyant due to low interest rates
House price growth continued to slow in December, but still remained at elevated levels.

The climb in house prices was 7.8 per cent year-on-year in December, figures released yesterday by Halifax revealed.

It marks a cooling from the peak of the recent boom that, according to Halifax’s figures, saw prices rise 10.2 per cent year-on-year in July.

Despite stricter rules on mortgage lending and falling affordability, house prices remain relatively buoyant due to record low interest rates and rising pay.

“Low inflation also means that rock- bottom mortgage rates will remain in healthy supply for the foreseeable future. With Barclays launching the first ever sub-three per cent 10-year fixed-rate yesterday, other lenders are unlikely to rest on their laurels,” said Brian Murphy, the head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau.

“The stage is set for new home building commitments to be made in the build-up to the election to address long-term housing supply and affordability pressures.”

Figures released today by LSL property services also show prices slowing, albeit by a little less.

The firm’s index grew by 9.6 per cent year-on-year in December, with the 2014 boom peaking at 10.8 per cent year-on-year growth in July, August and Septem­ber.

The boom has mostly be driven by surging prices in the capital. Annual change in prices, excluding London and the south east, was 5.7 per cent.

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