Rate of house price growth slows
Annual house price growth declined to 5.1%, according to Halifax’s latest House Price Index for February, down from 5.7% in January, and its lowest level since 2013.
The lender said this was despite average property prices rising by a tiny 0.1% during last month. The average UK property price is now £219.949.
House prices in the three months to February were 1.7% higher than in the previous quarter; down from 2.3% in January.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “Housing demand is being supported by an economy that continues to perform well with employment still expanding.
“Meanwhile, the supply of both new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low. This combination is pushing up prices.”
Paul Goodman, chairman of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), said the marginal monthly growth figure of 0.1% highlighted a critical absence of housing supply. He added: “This is underpinned by the fact that houses simply aren’t getting built in the numbers that this country desperately needs – in fact, housebuilding fell by 1% last year.
“This data starkly lays bare how much the government’s housing white paper has to do.
“The current status quo, where 10 of the nation’s largest housebuilders provide 60% of homes, clearly isn’t working.
“The communities secretary’s pledge to “diversify” the market – incentivising smaller property developers to build – should help to redress this calamitous stock imbalance, and get the UK building the 250,000 homes it needs every year.”