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House price growth tumbles in January

Written by: Lana Clements
House prices have slumped to an annual growth rate of 2.2% in January, the lowest level in six months, as measured by Halifax.

Home values dipped by 0.6% month-on-month taking the average price to £223,285, data from the lender showed.

Household finances remain under pressure from inflation, but a lack of supply is underpinning the market, according to Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax.

Separate research from Nationwide, showed that house prices had unexpectedly jumped in January.

However, the two indices can be volatile on a monthly basis.

Industry figures said there had been a pick-up in market activity in 2018.

Estate agent, Jeremy Leaf, said: ‘‘At the sharp end of the market, we’ve noticed better-than-expected viewings but won’t know whether this interest will translate into confirmed sales for the next few weeks at least.

“Prospective purchasers seem to be taking confidence from recent encouraging news about the economy and continuing low interest rates.

“Once again the market is showing considerable resilience and little sign of a larger correction.

“Nevertheless, sellers still have to be realistic and particularly recognise the importance of setting sensible asking prices if they are to generate offers.

“First-time buyers too are beginning to emerge from hibernation and take advantage of lower stamp duty, the government’s Help to Buy scheme and less competition from investors.

“However, lingering affordability and Brexit concerns remain common to all.”

First-time buyer opportunities

Jeremy Duncombe, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “Steadier year-on-year house price inflation coupled with low mortgage rates and government schemes, such as Help to Buy and Shared Ownership is providing buyers with a strong footing to make their first moves.

“As we expect to see house price growth remain at a more sustainable rate, would-be buyers should be speaking with a mortgage broker.

“Not only will this give them the best chances of finding the most appropriate product for their needs, but it will also provide them with a better understanding of the schemes available, to help them on the property ladder.”

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