Annual house price growth eased to 3.9% in November, Halifax reports

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House prices have increased for five months in a row, according to an index.

Property values increased by 0.5% month-on-month in November, marking the fifth consecutive monthly rise, Halifax said.

At £226,821 on average across the UK, house prices were 3.9% higher in November than a year earlier.

The annual growth rate was 4.5% in October.

On a quarterly basis, house prices between September and November were 2.4% higher than in the previous three months. This was the fastest quarterly growth seen since January.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax Community Bank, said: "Whilst the annual rate of growth eased in November, with the first decline in this measure since July, when looking at quarterly change prices in the three months to November were marginally higher than in the preceding three months; the fourth consecutive quarterly increase.

"The imbalance between supply and demand continues to support house prices, which doesn't look like changing in the near future.

"Further ahead, increasing affordability issues, as price increases continue to outstrip wage growth, are likely to curb housing demand and cause price growth to ease."

He said that the recent stamp duty cut for first-time buyers unveiled in the Budget is likely to provide some stimulus to demand, "particularly in London and the South East where the impact is greatest".

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said that following the recent Bank of England base rate hike to 0.5%: "Looking ahead, we remain concerned that even relatively small increases in mortgage rates... will reduce the size of mortgages that households take out, while falling consumer confidence will additionally subdue demand.

"As such, we still expect house prices merely to flatline over the next 12 months."

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, said: "Housing market activity remains under pressure from squeezed consumer purchasing power, fragile confidence and appreciable caution over engaging in major transactions.

"The recent Bank of England interest rate hike to 0.5% may very well also weigh down on housing market activity through affecting buyers' psychology - even though the actual impact of the move is limited by the reduced amount of people on variable rate mortgages."


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