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Average UK house price reached a new high of £225,826 in October, report finds

By Vicky Shaw, Press Association Personal Finance Correspondent
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Average UK house price reached a new high of £225,826 in October, report finds

Annual house price growth accelerated for the third month in a row in October, according to Halifax.

Annual house price growth accelerated in October, pushing average property values to a new high, according to an index.

Across the UK, the average house price stood at £225,826 in October, surpassing a previous high in September, Halifax said.

Property values were up by 4.5% annually in October – marking the third month in a row that the growth rate has accelerated.

In September, annual house price growth stood at 4% and in August the annual growth rate was 2.6%.

House prices were up by 0.3% month-on-month in October, following a 0.8% monthly increase in September.

Last week saw the Bank of England base rate rise from 0.25% to 0.5%, meaning millions of borrowers on a variable rate mortgage face the possibility of higher mortgage payments.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax Community Bank, said: “The average house price is now £225,826 – exceeding last month’s previous high.

“House prices in the three months to October were 2.3% higher than in the previous quarter, the fastest quarterly increase since January.

“The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continues to support house prices and is likely to do so over the coming months.

“Increasing pressure on household finances and continuing affordability concerns are some of the factors likely to dampen buyer demand. That said, we do not anticipate the base rate rise will be a barrier to buying a house.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “While psychologically the first base rate rise in 10 years may affect people’s decision-making when it comes to moving house, signs are that any further increases will be modest and slow, so unlikely to put the brakes on the market.

“With lenders remaining keen to lend, and signs that some are prepared to absorb rate increases into their margins, borrowers should be able to expect competitive rates for some time to come.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “Looking forward, there is no doubt that people will continue to trade, but more nervously, particularly in the light of higher mortgage costs and pressure on real income.”

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “Looking ahead, the pipeline of demand is weak.”

He continued: “We expect house prices merely to flatline over the next 12 months.”