Halifax recorded an average house price of £225,021 at the end of last year - 2.4% higher than in January 2017.
Its latest house price index shows that annual house price growth eased to 2.7% in the final three months of 2017, lower than the 3.9% growth recorded in November.
Prices for the final quarter were 1.3% higher than in the previous quarter, down from 2.3% recorded in October and November. On a monthly basis, prices fell by 0.6% from November following a 0.3% increase in both October and November, the first monthly decline in six months.
Russell Galley, Managing Director at Halifax Community Bank, said: “The housing market in 2017 followed a similar pattern to the previous year. House price growth slowed, whilst building activity, completed sales and mortgage approvals for house purchase all remained flat. This has been driven by a squeeze on real wage growth and continuing uncertainty over the economy.
“Nationally, however, house prices in 2018 are likely to be supported by the ongoing shortage of properties for sale, low levels of housebuilding, high employment and a continuation of low interest rates making mortgage servicing affordable in relative terms. Overall we expect annual price growth to continue in the range of 0-3% at the end 2018.”
This expectation is endorsed by data from HMRC which show that the number of monthly UK home sales remained above 100,000 in all the months of 2017. In November they reached 104,200, the highest monthly level since March 2016.
In addition, in the three months to November home sales were 7% higher than in the same period a year earlier. In terms of supply, the end of 2017 saw a decline in instructions for sale, continuing a downward trend that has continued for 22 consecutive months – the worst sequence for close to eight years (source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ monthly report).
8th January 2018