Halifax House Price Index - February
06 March 2014
- House prices in the latest three months (December 2013-February 2014) were 2.1% higher than in the preceding three months (September 2013-November 2013). This is within the range of 1.8% - 2.2% recorded for this measure throughout the preceding nine months.
- Prices in the three months to February were 7.9% higher than in the same three months a year earlier. This continued the upward trend in the annual rate.
- House prices increased by 2.4% in February. This was the eleventh monthly increase in the past twelve months. The average price is, however, still 10% below the August 2007peak
- Activity on an upward trend. Home sales increased for the ninth successive month in January to 103,440; 30% higher than in January 2013. (Source: HMRC, seasonally-adjusted figures.) The number of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – was 11% higher in the three months to January than in the previous three months and 42% higher than in January last year. (Source: Bank of England, seasonally-adjusted figures.)
- Market conditions adding upward pressure on prices. While new buyer enquiries eased in January, this has been accompanied by a decline in the number of homeowners providing instructions to put their property on the market. (Source: RICS.) However, latest housebuilding figures show signs of improvement which could help to bring demand and supply into better balance. The number of housing starts in England in 2013 increased by 24% to 98,610 from a year earlier. (Source: DCLG)
Commenting, Stephen Noakes, Mortgages Director, said: "House prices in the three months to February were 2.1% higher than in the three months to November. The annual rate of increase rose again with prices in the three months to February 7.9% higher than in the same three months last year.
"Several factors appear to have boosted demand, such as the improved economic outlook, unemployment falling faster than expected, improvements in consumer confidence and low interest rates.
"However, continuing pressures on household finances, as earnings fail to keep pace with consumer price inflation, are expected to remain a constraint on the rate of growth of house prices. We are also seeing signs of a revival in housebuilding, which should help bring supply and demand into better balance and curb upward pressure on prices over the medium and longer terms."