House prices: Homeowners given boost as property values increase for fifth month in a row

Prices were up 0.5 per cent last month to put the cost of a typical three bedroom semi at £226,821 – £9,000 and 3.9 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Prices also rose on a quarterly basis, according to the latest data from Britain’s biggest mortgage lender Halifax.

Values between September and November were 2.4 per cent higher than in the previous three months – the fastest quarterly growth seen since January and the fourth consecutive quarterly jump.

Russell Galley, of the Halifax, said: “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”.

Graham Davidson, managing director of buy to let specialist, Sequre Property Investment, said: “While the monthly growth is nominal, it’s still a great result at a time when we generally expect to see a slight cooling of house prices due to seasonality. 

“The overall increase of 3.9 per cent year-on-year clearly demonstrates the stability of the UK market, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty.”

However prices may ease a little on the back of the Bank of England’s recent decision to raise the base interest rate to 0.5 per cent.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “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: “The recent interest rate hike may very well 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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