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House price growth reaches 16-year high

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House prices in November were 7.6% higher than in the same month a year earlier
House price growth reaches 16-year high

Average property prices rose by 1.2% in November, adding £3,000 to the value of the average home, according to Halifax.

This takes the average UK house price to £253,243.

The lender said that annual house price growth rose to 7.6%, the highest level since June 2004.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “With mortgage approvals at a 13-year high, the current market continues to be shaped by a desire for more space, the move from urban to rural locations and indications of a trend for more home working in the future. And while industry data shows agreed sales and new instructions to sell fell to their lowest level in the past five months, both remain at historically high levels and well above seasonal norms.

“The housing market has been much more resilient than many predicted at the outset of the pandemic, and indeed many households remain confident about further price growth next year.

“However, the economic environment continues to look challenging. With unemployment predicted to peak around the middle of next year, and the UK’s economy not expected to fully recover the ground lost over 2020 for a number of years, a slowdown in housing market activity is likely over the next 12 months.”

Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, added: “As viewings slow in the run-up to Christmas, the market should expect a gentle reality check. On the front line we’re already seeing the first price reductions by overzealous sellers who have had to recognise that their initial pricing expectations were overly ambitious.

“But with the rollout of mass vaccination and the growing hope that 2021 will see a gradual return to normal, the property market will start the New Year with a head of steam that scarcely seemed credible just a few months ago.”

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