Little change in house prices next year says Halifax

| December 6, 2012
Little change in house prices next year says Halifax

The Halifax reported a 1 per cent monthly rise in house prices in November to £160,879 but says the housing market is ‘more unclear than usual’.

According to the lender’s figures, average house prices across the UK have been on a downward trend for the past six months.

Compared with the previous year, prices have fallen 1.3 per cent and with first-time-buyer mortgages continuing to be scarce, the lender expects prices to be flat in 2013.

Prices are expected to end the year within the range of 2 per cent up on this year, and 2 per cent down.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, said: “We expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013.

“Prices are again likely to end the year at levels close to where they begin with the market continuing to lack any genuine direction.”

The most likely region to experience house price growth in 2013 is the south-east and London, the Halifax said.

According figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the number of first-time-buyers in London hit its highest level in three years in the third quarter of 2012.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor has been criticised by brokers for failing to announce cuts to stamp duty to boost the housing market, in his Autumn Statement yesterday.

Although he pledged to help fund a further 120,000 further homes, no detail was given about how this would happen.

The Chancellor did announce an extension to the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme until March 2015.

The scheme, which offers help with mortgages and home improvement loans to homeowners receiving certain income related benefits, had been due to end in January 2013.

Mr Osborne ruled out a “mansion tax” on expensive properties, saying it would be “expensive”, “intrusive”, and difficult to recoup.

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