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House prices start year 7.9% up – Halifax

Adam Williams
Written By:
Adam Williams

House prices in the UK have continued to race upwards with the average property worth 7.9% more today than a year ago, the latest figures from Halifax have shown.

The average UK property was worth £179,872 at the end of February, the lender reported.

This figure was 2.4% up on the previous month and the December to February three month average was 7.9% higher than the same period a year ago.

Despite the rise Halifax said the average house price was still around 10% below its pre-crash peak in August 2007.

Nicholas Ayre, managing director of homebuying agency Home Fusion, said: “Prices continue to rise, mainly owing to a lack of stock coming to market, but the average value remains 10% below the August 2007 peak. The question is what does this mean for Mark Carney: does he leave things as they are or seek to put some limitations on schemes such as Help to Buy in order to stop prices running away with themselves?

“There are some concerns about buyers paying anything for a property owing to the lack of stock and a certain desperation. But the market as a whole is not running away with itself.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “These figures disguise glaring differences across the UK when it comes to house prices. London and the South East are experiencing soaring prices while elsewhere they are rising much more in line with inflation.

“This situation is becoming increasingly precarious as housing supply is failing to meet demand especially in London and the South East. This is driving house price rises in these areas at a much faster rate than both inflation and wages, pushing the prospect of property ownership further out of reach for first time buyers.”