House price growth reaches four per cent

House prices in December 2019 were four per cent higher than in the same month a year earlier, according to the Halifax House Price Index.

On a monthly basis, house prices rose by 1.7 per cent and in the latest quarter (October to December) house prices were one per cent higher than in the preceding three months.

Russell Galley, managing director of the Halifax, says: “Average house prices rose by four per cent over 2019, at the top of our predicted range of two to four per cent growth for the year.

“This was driven by a monthly gain of 1.7 per cent in December, which was the biggest monthly increase of 2019, pushing up the year-on-year growth rate and reflecting that December 2018 was a particularly weak month.

“Looking ahead, we expect uncertainty in the economy to ease somewhat in 2020, which should see transaction volumes increase and further price growth made possible by an improvement in households’ real incomes.

“Longer-term issues, such as the shortage of homes for sale and low levels of house-building will continue to limit supply, while the ongoing challenges faced by prospective buyers in raising deposits will serve to constrain demand.

“As a result, we expect a modest pace of gains to continue into next year.”