According to the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, The Halifax, buying that first property remains very difficult.
House prices have slowed in parts of the country, mainly in London, but continue to rise in general. Part of the Lloyds Banking Group, The Halifax says property prices rose by 1.3% over the course of 2018.
This took the average cost to £229,729 and the lender said cost remained a key issue for young potential buyers.
They said:- The requirement of a “significant deposit” acted as a “restraint” on those who wanted to buy.
December property prices rose by 2.2%
The Halifax said that house prices rose by 2.2% in December, compared with a weak November, although the month-on-month change is widely considered to be a volatile measure of the UK housing market.
A comparison of the final three months of 2018 with the previous quarter recorded a 0.4% fall in property prices, based on the Halifax’s lending data.
However, over the year as a whole, property prices rose by 1.3%. This is within the lender’s prediction at the start of the year of a rise of up to 3%.
Rival lender, Nationwide, shows different figures.
In contrast, the Nationwide, reported last week that its lending data had shown property prices rising by 0.5% in 2018.
This is the lowest level, on this annual measure, for nearly 6 years.
Nationwide said uncertainty over the economic outlook appeared to be undermining confidence in the property market.
Lenders use different calculations.
The year-on-year comparison is calculated slightly differently by the two lenders.
The Halifax compares the previous three months with the same three months a year earlier to give a smoother comparison.
Rather than a direct comparison of the equivalent months as calculated by the Nationwide.
What the experts say: –
Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent, said the Halifax figures looked surprising at first glance at a time of political uncertainty, but there were clear reasons in the state of the market.
“When taken with the recent fall in transactions, it is clear that the increase has more to do with a shortage of stock rather than a bounce back in the market generally.”
Russell Galley, managing director of the Halifax, said that the lender was predicting that prices would rise by between 2% and 4% in 2019.
“This is slightly stronger than 2018, but still fairly subdued by modern comparisons. However, this expectation will clearly be dependent on the Brexit outcome, with risks to both sides of our forecast,” he said.
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