Economy

United Kingdom house prices growth hits seven-month high in September

United Kingdom house prices increased at a faster pace in September, data from the mortgage lender Halifax and IHS Markit showed Friday. The monthly index calculates annual house price inflation accelerated to the fastest pace since February.

This is the highest average house price recorded by Halifax, though the lender's index produces lower averages than rival indices.

Earlier this month, Nationwide reported 2.0 percent annual growth in house prices and the first fall in London prices for eight years. Meanwhile, earnings growth remains below the pace of price inflation, meaning United Kingdom consumers will continue to be squeezed by the pace of price rises for everyday goods.

United Kingdom house prices continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of properties for sale and solid growth in full-time employment, Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax Community Bank, said.

Mr Galley said Halifax did not anticipate that an interest rate hike by the Bank of England not have a significant effect on the number of properties being bought and sold.

Halifax is part of Lloyds Banking Group, and is one of Britain's two biggest mortgage lenders, alongside Nationwide Building Society. "Momentum remains patchy and what growth there is is wavering rather than sustained, and prices remain under intense pressure in several key regions", he said.

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, commented: "In London, prices have been sliding in numerous areas that saw the frothiest rates of growth during the boom".

The average United Kingdom house price is now £225,109.

Considering the likely interest rate rise from the Bank of England, Samuels added that the consensus was that it was unlikely to rise by more than quarter of a per cent.

"The home counties have performed very well since 2012 in addition to some London boroughs, such as Newham and Waltham Forest, which have seen increases of more than 80 per cent per square foot". However, the rate of growth nearly halved from the 1.5% recorded in the previous month.

She said London sellers were having to cut their asking prices to get sales: "In London, we are now seeing many more price reductions at bigger discounts compared with a year ago".

Alex Gosling, CEO, online estate agents HouseSimple.com, comments: "It would be easy to get carried away by these figures, but let's not forgot prices are still being supported by low supply, low mortgage rates and low unemployment, rather than a sudden rise in buyer demand". Our research shows that new sellers in September were up a fifth on August.



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