Halifax House Price Index

Halifax have released their House Price Index for December 2015.

  • House prices in the latest three months (October-December) were 1.6% higher than in the preceding three months.
  • Prices in the three months to December were 9.5% higher than in the same three months a year earlier.
  • House prices increased by 1.7% between November and December. This maintained the fluctuating monthly house price pattern seen during the second half of 2015. The quarter on quarter change is a more reliable indicator of the underlying trend.

Housing Activity

  • Home sales up on a year ago. UK home sales during September to November were 5.2% higher than in the same three months last year. Sales were also 1.4% higher than in the preceding three months despite a 5.7% decline between October and November. (Source: HMRC, seasonally adjusted figures)

  • Mortgage approvals on a steady upward trend. The volume of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – increased by 1% between October and November. Approvals in the three months to November were 1% higher than in the preceding three months and 16% higher than in the same three months a year earlier. (Source: Bank of England, seasonally adjusted figures)

  • Supply falls again to another record low. New instructions by home sellers fell in November for the tenth successive month. This contributed to the stock of homes available for sale declining to a new record low for the eighth consecutive month. (Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) monthly report)

Commenting, Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said:

“House prices in the three months to December were 1.6% higher than in the previous three months. This was the second successive month that this measure has been below 2.0%, indicating a possible slight softening in the underlying rate of price growth.

“There remains, however, a substantial gap between demand and supply with the latest figures showing a further decline in the number of properties available for sale. This situation is unlikely to change significantly in the short-term, resulting in continuing upward pressure on prices.”

Michelle Grant, investment director, Grant Property, comments on today’s Q4 Regional Halifax House Price Indices:

“The positive house price figures released today provide a tangible indication of how successful a year 2015 was for the buy-to-let sector in the UK.

“The improving economic outlook has boosted affordability, with low inflation and salary increases in key areas of the country helping to offset an upturn in house prices.

“Typically the property market will come to life with great gusto as we approach spring. We highly recommend investors act fast to take advantage of this and expect to see a surge in buy-to-let activity before the stamp duty reforms come in to play in April.”