October has seen an explosive month for both the iamproperty group and the property industry. Counting down until the autumn budget, housing prices have risen at their fastest rate since the start of the year on both a quarterly and annual basis (Halifax claims), reducing demand and skewing the supply of the market.
The lender’s latest house price Index shows that growth in the three months up to October was up 2.3% and increased 4.5% annually, the fastest rate since January and February respectively.
These figures translate to a record high in prices for the index of £225,826. However, monthly growth slowed from 0.8% to 0.3% between September and October.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said: “The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continues to support house prices and is likely to do so over the coming months.”
“Increasing pressure on household finances and continuing affordability concerns are some of the factors likely to dampen buyer demand.”
“That said, we do not anticipate the base rate rise will be a barrier to buying a house.”
Commenting on the figures, Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of the property lender Octane Capital, said: “For some months now the property market has exuded strength, but in reality, its main driver is weak supply.”
“Price rises are being driven by the shortage of properties available for sale, and broader supply problems, rather than confident consumers and a strong economy.”
“Even last week’s rate rise is unlikely to break the current narrative of a slowly rising market driven by weak supply.”
In reflection to these price rises, it has left stagnation within the property market, with Scotland, Wales and the home of iamproperty, the North East, being the only areas of the UK to see sales rise – maintaining flat or negative figures across the rest of the UK.
Jeremy Duncombe, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, comments: “The punitive cost of Stamp Duty coupled with year-on-year house price growth means that the route to home ownership is not getting any easier. Those looking to step on to the property ladder are left with little choice but to either borrow larger sums of money or face staying as Generation Rent for the foreseeable future.”
“With the Autumn Budget fast approaching, we wait to see what the Government will focus on. Until the long overdue thousands of new homes are built, and Stamp Duty for both first-time and last-time buyers is reconsidered, the housing market will continue to exclude large groups of people.”
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