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House price growth hits nine-month high ahead of UK general election

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Property for sale in north London. House prices rebounded in November. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The UK property market showed signs of recovery in November, with house prices growing by the most in nine months, according to a new index.

Average house prices climbed by 1% last month compared to October, the highest month-on-month growth since February. The average price of a house in the UK is now £234,625.

After two consecutive months of declines, the increase will be seen as welcome news for property owners ahead of next week’s general election.

House prices were 2.1% higher than they were in November 2018, according to the Halifax House Price Index.

Halifax said on Friday that the figures were further evidence of the “resilience” of the UK property market.

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“Over the medium term we expect the emerging trend of modest gains to continue into next year,” said Russell Galley, the managing director of Halifax, on Friday.

“Prices are now up by £3,904 since the start of the year. While a degree of uncertainty remains evident, it’s also clear that buyers and sellers are responding to factors such as improved mortgage affordability and the limited supply of available properties,” said Galley.

The new data comes after government figures showed a rise in residential property sales in October.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, there were 103,680 transactions in October, a 4.3% climb on September and the highest level since July 2017.

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Others cautioned against too much optimism about the figures, particularly in light of RICS residential market data, which showed that new buyer enquiries fell for the second consecutive month in October. Agreed sales also fell.

“While the latest numbers may suggest a Christmas miracle in the making, any real stability or growth is unlikely to return this side of the New Year given the upcoming election and the seasonal market slowdown that comes with Christmas,” said Marc von Grundherr, the director of London estate agent Benham and Reeves.