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House prices nudge up in October: Halifax

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House prices rose 0.3 per cent in October, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

This is up 4.5 per cent year-on-year, but is a slight slowdown from the 0.8 per cent growth seen in September.

The three-month period to the end of October saw a 2.3 per cent rise in house prices.

The average house price is now £225,826, the highest ever recorded by Halifax’s index.

Halifax Community Bank managing director Russell Galley says: “The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continues to support house prices and is likely to do so over the coming months.

“Increasing pressure on household finances and continuing affordability concerns are some of the factors likely to dampen buyer demand. That said we do not anticipate the base rate rise will be a barrier to buying a house.”

Budget run-up

Foundation Home Loans director of marketing Jeff Knight says: “With just three weeks until the Chancellor’s first Autumn Budget, the arrival of rumoured new housing policies are eagerly awaited.

“In the run-up, we have seen moves to curb second home-ownership and the impact of stamp duty on housing market activity debated, with potential cuts rendering significant savings for first-time buyers. However, stamp duty is only one hurdle facing those struggling to enter the market as mortgage affordability, rising prices and inflation outstripping wages continue to delay home ownership plans.”

Demand outstrips supply

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “With demand for housing outstripping supply, property prices continue to be supported with the annual rate of growth continuing to rise. It helps that mortgage rates remain low, and even though the Bank of England raised base rate last week, there are no signs of them shooting up anytime soon.

“While psychologically the first base rate rise in ten years may affect people’s decision-making when it comes to moving house, signs are that any further increases will be modest and slow, so unlikely to put the brakes on the market.”

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