14-year Monthly Record for House Price Rises

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House prices in England hit a new monthly record in September as they increased in value by 1.7% between August and last month. And that was the biggest monthly rise since just before the recession in 2007.

The figures were from the latest Halifax Price Index and were a reversal of the previous three months where property values had fallen month on month.

Property up £18,000 year-on-year in September

The 1.7% rise worked out at £4,425 added to the price of the average home in England, bringing that figure to £267,587 for September. It’s a jump of £18,000 on September 2020 when the property market reopened after the summer lockdown.

Other statistics, produced by the lender, show that the price of apartments have risen by 6.1% whereas both semi-detached homes and homes have gone up more – by 8.9% and 8.8% respectively. 

In terms of other areas of the UK, property inflation in Wales outdid all other areas, coming in at 11.5% last month. In Northern Ireland the figure was 9.3% and in Scotland prices rose by 8.3%.

South-west is England property price champ

In England, house price inflation is highest in the south-west, at 9.7%, bringing the cost of the average property there to £276,226. London, though, continues to lag behind the rest of the UK. Prices aren’t falling there anymore, but they aren’t rising as fast as the rest of the country at just 1% between August and September.

Estate agents say they are still more buyers than there are properties on the market. This brings property analysts to believe that prices, and the property market, will remain stable – despite the possibility of tax rises and inflation in the near future.

But Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, refers to this property shortage as ‘an underlying weakness’ in the market. 

He said: “The imbalance between supply and demand is unsustainable and, in many cases, arises because prospective sellers are unable to find anywhere to buy themselves, creating a vicious circle of low supply. In some cases, they cannot even find properties to rent as a short-term option.”

Citing around 13 new buyers for every property listed in the UK last month, he said the last time there was such as short supply of properties was back at the beginning of 2020. In a bid to encourage house buyers now that the Stamp Duty Holiday has come to an end, mortgage lending is loosening too.

More mortgages coming onto the market

Certainly, the threat of rising inflation doesn’t seem to be having any effect on them. They offered lower interest rates in the third quarter of the year than the previous one. House deposits were lower too.

There is currently, what many in the industry would describe as a ‘mortgage war,’ taking place. Many High Street and online lenders are even vowing to introduce more mortgages until the end of next month. Most of the lending recently has been for re-mortgaging, rather than from those buying or first-time buyers (many of whom are still complaining of being priced-out of the market).

According to the Bank of England’s credit conditions survey mortgage lenders were encouraged by the improving economic outlook and rising house prices. Around 18% of them said they anticipated a further easing of credit conditions in the fourth quarter too. 

Even the prospect of what many believe will be a rise in the Bank of England’s base rate from 0.1% to 0.25%, around December, isn’t putting lenders off. Analysts say they will simply absorb the cost so that low interest mortgage deals will continue well into 2023.