What’s happening to UK house prices?

LLB Reporter

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Prices in the last three months to February were 1.8 per cent higher than in the same three months a year earlier, slowing from the 2.2 per cent annual growth recorded in January.

House prices in the latest quarter (December-February) were -0.7 per cent lower than in the preceding three months (September-November), the first decline on this measure since May last year.

On a monthly basis, prices grew marginally by 0.4 per cent in February, following two consecutive monthly falls.The average price in February was £224,353, down slightly from November’s high of £226,408.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said:

“House prices continue to remain broadly flat, as they have since the end of last year. The annual rate of growth has slowed from 2.2 per cent in January to 1.8 per cent in February, the lowest rate of growth since March 2013.

“The labour market continues to perform strongly with the number of people in employment rising by 88,000 in the three months to December. Notably, this is almost entirely accounted for by full-time jobs. The strength of the jobs market may finally be benefitting wage growth, with the annual growth rate accelerating from 2.3 per cent in November to 2.8 per cent in December. However, earnings are rising at a slower rate than consumer prices.

“Despite the November rise in the Bank of England Base Rate, mortgage rates continue to stay low by historical standards. While we expect price growth to remain low, the low mortgage rate environment, combined with an ongoing shortage of properties for sale, should continue to support house prices over the coming months.”

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