"The imbalance between supply and demand continues to support house prices, which doesn’t look like changing in the near future."
Although the annual rate of house price growth eased in November, prices in the three months to November were 2.4% higher than in the previous quarter - the fastest price growth since January, according to the latest Halifax house price index.
Prices in the three months to November were 3.9% higher than in the same three months a year earlier although the annual change in November was lower than in October (4.5%).
House prices rose by 0.5% between October and November, following a 0.3% increase in October and marking the fifth consecutive monthly rise. The average price of £226,821 is 3.2% higher than in January (£219,741).
Russell Galley, Managing Director at Halifax Community Bank, said: “Whilst the annual rate of growth eased in November, with the first decline in this measure since July, when looking at quarterly change prices in the three months to November were marginally higher than in the preceding three months; the fourth consecutive quarterly increase.
“The imbalance between supply and demand continues to support house prices, which doesn’t look like changing in the near future. Further ahead, increasing affordability issues, as price increases continue to outstrip wage growth, are likely to curb housing demand and cause price growth to ease. We do expect the Government's first-time buyer Stamp Duty changes to provide some stimulus to demand, particularly in London and the South East where the impact is greatest.”
Jeff Knight, Director of Marketing at Foundation Home Loans, commented: “November saw the Chancellor scrap stamp duty for first time buyers, a move the OBR predicts will push prices up by 0.3%. Increased demand will certainly place upward pressure on the market – at least until reforms to the planning system start to have an effect and more land is made available for the promised thousands of new builds. However, stalled Brexit negotiations will dampen confidence as uncertainty takes its toll. This, alongside the age-old tale of weak supply, continues to subdue to market’s full growth potential.
“In the meantime, a concerted effort to progress and improve the rental sector is crucial. Affordable homes do not have to equal ownership, so we also need to focus on developing high quality properties for tenants until they are in a position to buy.”
Founder and CEO of eMoov, Russell Quirk, added: “A fifth consecutive increase in monthly house price growth certainly makes positive reading given the current market climate, particularly during a traditionally slower time of year as we approach the festive season.
That said, the market is showing signs of winding down with a decline in mortgage approvals and sale instructions. This would suggest the last call for property sales in 2017 has been made, but with sales reaching their highest level this year, there are still plenty looking to complete this side of Christmas which will keep things ticking over.
The market should continue to build on this momentum after the December lull and the outlook is promising for the coming year.
As the issue of supply is unlikely to be addressed in any meaningful way the lack of stock to meet housing demand should keep prices buoyant, aided by the recent changes to first-time buyer stamp duty, although this will bring a marginal influence much further down the line than widely expected.”