House prices up 3.6% on January 2009
Halifax has announced a 0.6% rise in UK house prices in January, compared to a month earlier.
The seventh successive monthly increase was more modest than the 1.1% average for the previous six months but nonetheless takes the price of a typical home to £169,777, or 3.6% more than at the start of 2009.
The annual rate of change (which is measured over a three month average) is the largest since February 2008 and furthermore, prices have risen by 9.9% since hitting an April 2009 trough, putting on an average £15,287 in the intervening months.
Halifax housing economist, Martin Ellis, comments: “The marked reduction in interest rates over the past 15 months has, from a low base, boosted housing demand from those with a sufficient deposit to enter the market.”
He adds: “Increased demand has combined with a low supply of properties available for sale to push up prices.”
Bearing in mind the possibility of price rises being curbed in the months ahead by an increase in properties being marketed, Mr Ellis is predicting that house prices will be flat during 2010.
Nationwide also sees the potential for a recovery in house prices as limited in 2010 but according to the lender, the main issue is affordability.
By way of comparison with Halifax, the building society recently reported a 1.2% January rise in the average house price, to £163,481; the year-on-year gain stood at 8.6% (up from 5.9% in December 2009).