Latest Index Indicates Stable Housing Market

The housing index, measured by the Halifax, has found that prices are 2.5% higher than a year earlier, a 1.8% increase in the third quarter compared to quarter two results.

Despite the average house price now standing at £225,995 because of the 1.4% decrease in house prices caused by poor August and September sales, experts remain optimistic that the market is stable.

Russell Galley, Managing Director of the Halifax, said: “This is set amongst mortgage approvals and completed house sales remaining broadly unchanged, although a gradual pickup in wage growth has helped to support household finances.

“The annual rate of growth is near the top of our forecast range of zero to 3% for 2018, as a low supply of new homes and existing properties for sale, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continue to support house prices.”

Russell Quirk, Chief Executive of Emoov, said: “The market is by no means excelling, but we are certainly in a stronger position than we were last year as a steady stream of buyer activity has seen the market keep plodding on.

“The issue isn’t due to appetite, mortgage approvals are increasing, sales are completing, but with stock levels at their lowest in a decade, we need more supply. While price growth may remain erratic month to month until greater political stability prevails, this lack of stock, coupled with the fact that the construction of new build developments is falling, will see prices continue to creep up in the mid-term.”

Andy Soloman, Growth Expert at Yomdel, said: “Consumer confidence isn’t as prevalent across the property market as it is in other areas of the economy. The market will continue to lose altitude until the government gets its house in order over Brexit.

“In the short term, monthly price growth should remain static as we enter the time of year when other areas of the economy, such as the retail sector, receive a welcome boost in consumer spending, while the property market takes a back seat.”

Steve Seal, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bluestone Mortgages. Commented: “Whilst the average growth of house prices remains steady, this doesn’t necessarily mean all doors are open for aspiring home owners. If anything, there are still significant barriers when it comes to securing funding.

“Lifestyle and financial habits are changing and it’s unfair that some potential buyers are turned away for not fitting an outdated computer scoring system. A missed phone or credit bill, or unforeseen costs for an accident shouldn’t mean you are barred from home ownership.

“These customers, instead, need a personalised underwriting experience that ensures the nature of their situation is fully understood. It’s vital that specialist lenders continue to find the best solutions for all of their clients, based on a rounded and fair view of their individual financial situation.”

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