House prices climb over winter

Chris Papadopoullos
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House prices for the three months to January were 8.5 per cent higher than the year before
THE HOUSING market boom that saw price growth peak at 10.2 per cent year-on-year in July may not be over, according to one of the UK’s biggest mortgage lenders.

House prices jumped two per cent in January – the biggest monthly increase since 2009, figures released yesterday by Halifax show.

The average house price in the three months to January was £193,130, an 8.5 per cent year-on-year increase. It marks an increase in the rate of growth from the 7.8 per cent registered in December.

The rise in the rate of growth also breaks a run of six months in a row of slowing house price growth. Year-on-year growth had peaked at 10.2 per cent in July, according to Halifax’s data.

Despite Halifax saying the data could be less reliable due to January and December being months with low numbers of transactions, some other indicators imply a reverse in the downward trend in growth.

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase – a guide to completed house sales – climbed by two per cent between November and December, according to Bank of England figures. The rise followed five consecutive months of decline, possibly suggesting the recent downward trend could be reversing, Halifax said.

“The major long-term problem remains a lack of supply which urgently needs to be addressed,” said Jeremy Duncombe, director at the Legal and General Mortgage Club – a mortgage brokers.

“A healthy and sustainable housing market is hugely important to the overall economic health of the country and therefore that should push this issue towards the top of the political agenda as the general election approaches.”