View more on these topics

House prices rose 4.4% in year to January

House-Home-Ad-In-Paper-700.jpg

House prices rose 4.4 per cent to £196,829 in the year to January, according to Nationwide.

On a monthly basis, prices fell 0.1 per cent from £196,999.

The lender found that annual house price inflation edged back to 4.4 per cent in January after rising to a seven-month high of 4.5 per cent in December.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner says: “The pace of UK house price growth remained broadly stable during January.

“Indeed, annual house price growth has remained in a fairly narrow range between 3 per cent and 5 per cent since the summer of 2015. This trend was maintained in January, with house prices up 4.4 per cent over the year, broadly in line with the 4.5 per cent increase recorded in December.

“As we look ahead, the risks are skewed towards a modest acceleration in house price growth, at least at the national level.

However, Nationwide’s house price measure is more subdued that some of its rivals.

For example, Halifax found that house prices were up 9.5 per cent year-on-year in the three months to December, while Nationwide reported a 4.4 per cent increase in the same period.

IHS Economics chief European and UK economist Howard Archer says: “The contrast between the Halifax and Nationwide data and the monthly volatility in the data highlight the importance of not pinning too much weight on one particular house price survey or measure, but to look at the overall picture.”

Archer says he expects to see house prices rise by around 6 per cent in 2016 due to strong buyer interest and a property shortage.

He adds: “The main downside risk to this is if the economy sees a marked loss of momentum that undermines confidence and employment growth.”

IHS also says that Chancellor George Osborne’s 3 per cent surcharge on stamp duty on purchases of buy-to-let and second houses could hike house prices too.

Archer says: “Post April, this move may modestly dilute housing market activity and upward pressure on prices.”

New Street Mortgages sales director Adrian Whittaker says: “Yet again these figures show an unseasonal increase in house prices resulting from a market that is characterised by rising demand and limited supply.

“In this environment where increasing competition is making the speed of a mortgage application ever more important, borrowers and advisers alike want to be confident in a lender that has the systems in place to provide a fast and consistent lending process.

“The mortgage industry has been slow to keep up with new technology, and if we are to satisfy the demand for faster mortgage applications and adapt to the rising competitiveness of the market, it is crucial that as an industry we look to keep systems and processes up to date.”

Recommended

Restricted_lending_megadrop.jpg
2

Age limits

The credit crunch has put paid to the plentiful supply of lending into retirement products and now older people are facing a rapidly shrinking market as providers cut the maximum age on their standard mortgage ranges 

HSBC-Branch-Building-700x450.jpg

HSBC set to decide on UK exit

HSBC is to hold a board meeting this week to decide whether the bank will move its headquarters away from the UK. The 20-person group board will hold a two-day meeting at the end of the week in Hong Kong to make a decision on the move, a source told the Daily Telegraph. HSBC, which has been […]

Parliament-Building-UK-London-700x450.jpg

House of Commons to vote on FCA failings

MPs are set to debate the failings of the FCA, including its handling of the Connaught fund and missold interest rate hedging products, in a three-hour House of Commons session on 1 February 2016. Conservative MP for Aberconwy Guto Bebb will table the motion “this House believes that the Financial Conduct Authority in its current […]

Uhi_Jackie_Barclays_2015

Jackie Uhi: Homeowners missing out on record-low remortgage rates

Homeowners may regret ignoring record-low interest rates Last month saw the well-publicised launch of Help to Buy Isas. Inevitably, we have seen both intense competition among lenders, resulting in some attention-grabbing headline rates, and strong interest from first-time buyers. The Isas are widely regarded as a ‘no-brainer’ for prospective first-timers. After all, who would turn […]

Diversified cashflows are key

Dividends are under pressure in some areas: but reliable yields can still be found. So says Adrian Frost, manager of the Artemis Income Fund, in conversation with Lawrence Gosling.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up