High 5

In its latest analysis of the housing market, the Halifax has suggested that house prices rose by 1.1% in the month of April, versus a fall of 1.3% March. This means that house prices in the three months to April were 5.0% higher than in the same three months a year earlier and on a quarterly basis (February to April) house prices were 4.2% higher than in the preceding three months (November to January) with the average house price now standing at £236,619. Compare this to April 2009 where average house prices were £154,663 – the low point following the 2008 financial crash. Since then we have seen an increase of £81,956, which reflects a 4.3% average annual increase.

The sharp 5% rise in April’s annual change figure comes against the backdrop of a particularly low growth rate over the corresponding period in 2018, impacting year-on-year comparisons. This also factors in a notably high growth figure recorded in February this year, driven by a higher volume of London sales and more expensive new build properties.

The index has seen a weaker pace of growth over the last three years, which is consistent with the easing of transactions volumes and housing market activity reflected in RICS, Bank of England and HMRC figures. Looking further back, this April also marks 10 years since the lowest point of the Halifax house price index following the financial crash in 2008. According to seasonally adjusted figures from HMRC, March saw 101,830 home sales, which, as for February, was very close to the 5 year average of 100,959. When comparing sales in January to March, against October to December there is a 0.3% rise. March home sales were 2.8% above the previous 12 month average.