In the dynamic landscape of the UK housing market, the rise in house prices for the fifth consecutive month in February marks a continuation of the trend seen in recent months. According to data released by Halifax, the average house price increased by +0.4%, amounting to £291,699 which is around £1,000 more than last month.

The annual comparison reveals a +1.7% increase in property prices compared to the previous year, although this growth rate has slowed from +2.3% in January 2024. Despite the slight deceleration, these figures indicate a relatively stable beginning to 2024, consistent with other indicators suggesting heightened housing activity.

Kim Kinnaird, Director of Halifax Mortgages, commented on the recent trends, “In fact, the average price tag of a home is now only around £1,800 off the peak seen in June 2022. While it is encouraging that we’ve seen growth in recent months, what happens next remains uncertain.

Although lower mortgage rates, alongside expectations of Bank of England interest rate cuts this year, should help buyer confidence in the short term, the downward trend on rates is showing signs of fading.

Even with growing wages and inflation falling back, raising a deposit and affording a sizeable mortgage remains challenging, especially for those looking to join the property ladder, so it remains a possibility that there could be a slowdown in the housing market this year.”

The broader housing activity in the UK reflects a mixed picture, with varying indicators showing nuanced shifts:

HMRC Monthly Property Transactions: Data indicates a modest increase in UK home sales in January 2024 compared to the previous month. While seasonally adjusted residential transactions rose by 1.9%, non-seasonally adjusted figures experienced a decline of 19.9%.

Bank of England Mortgage Approvals: The number of mortgages approved for house purchases increased by 7.2% in January 2024 compared to the previous month. Year-on-year, this figure surged by 40.2% compared to January 2023.

RICS Residential Market Survey: Results for January 2024 indicate a slight improvement in sales market indicators, with new buyer enquiries, agreed sales, and new instructions all showing positive momentum.

About Lansdown Insurance Brokers

Lansdown Insurance Brokers are specialists in Landlords InsuranceBlock of Flats Insurance and Home Insurance. We can provide flexible policies to suit individual client needs and provide advice on what cover is required. For more information call the team on 01242 524498.

Lansdown is part of the Benefact Group, a charity-owned, international family of financial services companies that gives all available profits to charity and good causes.

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