Halifax house price index: UK house prices rose 9.5 per cent last year. Yawn

 
Emma Haslett
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Try not to nod off: house price growth stuck between eight and 10 per cent for most of last year (Source: Getty)

Another day, another confirmation that homes in the UK are increasingly unaffordable.

House prices have risen 9.5 per cent in the year to December, according to figures from Halifax, which showed the average house price is now a £208,286. Ouch.

Still: the UK's house prices are nothing if not dependable. The figure meant annual price growth stuck between eight and 10 per cent for most of 2015 (the only exception being July, when it fell to 7.8 per cent).

On a monthly basis, prices were 1.7 per cent higher than in November, while prices were 1.6 per cent higher in the fourth quarter of the year than they were in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Newham in London - home to Stratford's Olympic village - recorded the biggest rise in house prices, with a 22 per cent leap, nearly double London's average of 12 per cent.

And recent data suggests it's unlikely the trend will let up any time soon: according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, supply fell in November for the 10th month in a row, while figures published earlier this week by the National Association of Estate Agents suggested there are now 10 buyers battling it out for every house on the market.

"It's same old, same old on the house price front," said Mark Posniak, managing director of Dragonfly Property Finance.

"Looking into 2016, it's hard to see anything other than a continuation of the current trend of steadily rising prices, especially with interest rate rises in the near future unlikely.

"The jobs market is strong, consumers are confident and mortgage rates remain very low. Against this backdrop, further price rises are almost inevitable."

Sigh...

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