House prices holding steady to defy forecasts, Halifax figures show

Home costs throughout the UK are holding up higher than most consultants had thought, with the most recent knowledge suggesting that, after wobbling on the finish of final 12 months, they’ve stabilised thus far in 2023.

The common UK home worth was £285,476 in February, based on Halifax’s most up-to-date home worth index — 2.1 per cent larger than this time final 12 months. That annual charge of home worth inflation has held regular for 3 months in a row.

Costs rose 1.1 per cent between January and February, whereas economists had anticipated costs to register a small decline of about 0.3 per cent.

“Current reductions in mortgage charges, enhancing client confidence, and a unbroken resilience within the labour market are arguably serving to to stabilise costs following the falls seen in November and December,” Kim Kinnaird, director of Halifax Mortgages, mentioned.

Halifax’s knowledge goes in opposition to what was reported final week by Nationwide, which estimated that costs fell for the sixth consecutive month in February and have been now 1.1 per cent beneath the place they have been firstly of 2022.

Halifax and Nationwide base their studies on their very own mortgage approvals, that means that money consumers — a small however significant a part of the market — are excluded. Nationwide excludes buy-to-let mortgages too.

Anthony Codling, a former property trade analyst within the Metropolis, mentioned Halifax’s numbers have been “bucking the latest pattern”. He added: “This isn’t the script the home worth bears have been following and suggests the housing market shouldn’t be as bleak as they might suppose.”

Home costs at the moment are about 3 per cent beneath their August peak, Halifax mentioned, however that isn’t as dangerous as some economists had feared again within the autumn.

Property costs surged throughout the pandemic amid the “race for area” as many individuals, having been confined to their houses for weeks on finish, appeared to maneuver to an even bigger home with extra backyard area and room for a house workplace.

Nonetheless, demand fell all of a sudden and sharply in direction of the top of September because the elevated uncertainty and spiralling mortgage charges introduced on by the mini-budget despatched client confidence tumbling.

On Halifax’s measure, home costs fell for 4 straight months between September and December. The annual charge of home worth inflation, which had peaked at 12.5 per cent in the summertime, had dropped to 2.1 per cent by the top of 2022.

“In money phrases, home costs . . . stay nearly £9,000 above the common costs seen firstly of 2022 and are nonetheless above pre-pandemic ranges, that means most sellers will retain worth positive factors made throughout the pandemic,” Kinnaird mentioned.

She warned, nevertheless, that with home costs remaining larger than anticipated, “affordability will proceed to really feel difficult for a lot of consumers”.

The property market in London is struggling essentially the most, Halifax’s knowledge confirmed. Home costs within the capital are 0.9 per cent beneath the place they have been this time final 12 months. In contrast, in Northern Eire, costs are nonetheless 5.7 per cent larger in contrast with 12 months in the past.

Halifax instructed that London was being affected by its giant proportion of flats, values of which have declined by 0.3 per cent on common over the previous 12 months. Costs of terraced homes have broadly flatlined in contrast with this time final 12 months, whereas indifferent homes are value 1.5 per cent extra.

Back To Top