House price inflation increases

The annual rate of house price inflation has risen to 9.6% according to the latest set of figures from the Halifax.

The monthly change showed a 1.7% increase in November, which took the price of the average house in the UK to 187,995.

The report indicated that there are some signs of a likely cooling in housing market activity over the next few months. The market continues to be supported by strong fundamentals underpinned by a UK economy that has now recorded 57 successive quarters of growth.

Commenting, Halifax Chief Economist Martin Ellis said: "House prices increased by 1.7% in November. The marked slowing in real average earnings growth over the past six months, and a squeeze on households' discretionary income due to the substantial increase in utility bills during the last year, should temper housing demand. As a result, we expect house price inflation to ease over the coming months."

However, employment, a key factor determining housing demand, continues to rise. The number in employment increased by 56,000 in the three months to September compared with the previous quarter. A lack of supply is also expected to maintain upward pressure on house prices.

The latest RICS survey reported a fall in surveyors' confidence in the outlook for house sales for the third successive month and buyer enquiries are below the levels seen between May and August.

The House Builders' Federation reported an annual fall in the numbers looking at new homes for the third successive month in October.


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