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House price growth rebounded in November, index finds

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

House price growth rebounded in November following two month-on-month falls, according to an index.

Across the UK, property values were 1% up month on month in November, taking the average house price to £234,625, Halifax reported.

It was the biggest monthly increase seen in nine months.

The increase follows month-on-month price falls of 0.1% in October and 0.4% in September.

House prices in November were also 2.1% higher than in the same month a year earlier.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Average house prices rebounded somewhat in November, with annual growth of 2.1% being driven by the biggest monthly rise since February, following two months of modest falls.

“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.

“It is these issues which we believe will continue to underpin the resilience evident in the market for most of 2019.

“Over the medium term we expect the emerging trend of modest gains to continue into next year.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “It might be a little surprising to see the biggest monthly rise in house prices since February but the end of year can see a spike in sales as people aim to be in their new home for Christmas.

“Mortgage rates are cheaper than ever, with lenders continuing to compete for business. Those who can’t compete on rock-bottom rates are offering tempting incentives such as no fees or free valuations, and loosening criteria.

“It is a good time to be a borrower – that is, if you can find a property that you wish to buy.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “Despite significant political and economic uncertainty, and a shortage of stock, serious buyers and sellers – particularly we are finding of smaller family houses – are still negotiating hard and taking the medium/longer-term view that some broader stability and confidence will return soon.”