Market Remains Buoyant In February

Activity in the housing market is continuing to increase according to the Halifax House Price Index.

The Index has claimed that transactions, mortgage approvals and house prices all climbed in February, following a strong December and January.

HM Revenue and Customs data indicated that the 102,810 residential transactions in January represented a 4.1 per cent monthly increase and 5.2 per cent annual rise.

As the market begins moving, house prices have also responded. Halifax has announced that the average UK home is now worth £240,677. This figure is 0.3 percent higher than December and 2.8 per cent up on an annual basis.

Recent data also suggests that future transactions and market activity is likely to continue rising. Bank of England data has highlighted a continued rise in mortgage approvals. Approvals for loans increased by 3 per cent in December and January’s total approvals of 70,888 loans represented a 4.4 per cent rise on December’s figures.

Whilst the current market is enjoying a moment of buoyancy after a year of decline or flat activity, the uncertainty and economic damage the coronavirus could cause places question marks on the future growth in the sector in 2020 according to Halifax’s managing director.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said:

“The UK housing market has remained steady heading into early spring, with house prices increasing by 0.3% in February and up 2.8% on the previous year.

“Much like we saw in January, the increases seen in February reflect the continued improvement of key market indicators. The sustained level of buyer and seller activity is strong compared to recent years, with positive employment conditions and a competitive mortgage market continuing to support demand.

“Looking ahead, there are a number of risks, including the potential impact of coronavirus, which continue to exert pressure on the economy and we wait to see how these will affect housing market sentiment later in the year.”

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