Latest figures from Halifax reveal that, annually, house prices increased at their slowest rate since March 2013 – 1.5 per cent in October, compared to the 2.5 per cent annual rise recorded last month.
On a monthly basis, however, house prices rose 0.7 per cent – a turnaround from the two consecutive falls seen previously – and quarterly, a more modest 0.2 per cent. This leaves the average house price at £227,869.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley says: “House prices continue to be supported by the fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low.
“Further house price support comes from an already high and improving employment rate and historically low mortgage rates which are creating higher rates of relative affordability. We see this continuing to be the case over the coming months and we remain supportive of our 0-3 per cent forecast range.”
Emoov.co.uk founder and chief executive Russell Quirk comments: “The slowest rate of growth in over five and a half years certainly suggests that this is how the UK market will see out 2018… however, this is no reason to run for the hills having been widely predicted, with house prices at least, still up annually and both quarterly and monthly.
A further freeze in interest rates should help stimulate the market through the volatile cocktail of mortgage affordability and lack of housing stock. Although this will help the government keep homeowning voters on side through artificially inflated house price growth in the short term, it simply isn’t sustainable in the long term.”
Meanwhile, Garrington Property Fingers managing director Jonathan Hopper sees a brighter future: “After enduring more than two years of limbo, the property market has built up a good stock of pent-up buyer demand. With the Budget leaving the market alone and a Brexit deal inching closer, there are thousands of would-be buyers who could be spurred into action by even a modest lifting of Brexit uncertainty.
“The timing is delicately balanced, but a parting of the Brexit clouds could trigger a surge in activity as frustrated buyers calculate that the time is right to take the plunge before interest rates rise next year.”
Earlier this month, estate agent Savills predicted UK house prices to rise by nearly 15 per cent over the next five years, pointing to the regions outside of London as drivers of this growth.