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House price increase could encourage landlords to sell properties

Following the fifth monthly rise, new research from Halifax shows prices grew by 1.7% on an annual basis with the average UK home now costing £291,699.

The building society have recently published new figures which show that the average UK house price in February was £291,699 – around £1,000 more than the previous month. As a result of costs climbing so quickly, prices are now just £1,800 off the peak recorded in June 2022.

houses beside grass field

According to the figures, London has the highest average house price of £536,996 – up 1.5% on a year earlier last month – while the North East was found to be the region with the lowest prices for properties. In the area the average cost of a house is £171,294, up 4.2%.

Against this backdrop, the South East and Eastern England were the only areas where prices fell, down by 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.

Kim Kinnaird, director of Halifax Mortgages, said the findings ‘continue to suggest a relatively stable start to 2024 and align with other promising signs of increased housing activity, such as mortgage approvals.

‘In fact, the average price tag of a home is now only about £1,800 off the peak seen in June 2022.

‘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.’

News of house prices increasing coincides with the announcement of this year’s Spring Budget. As part of his speech, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed he would be making a cut in the higher rate of capital gains tax on residential properties from 28% to 24% from April 2024.

The government have claimed that this move will encourage landlords and second homeowners to sell their properties, making more available for a variety of buyers, including individuals that desperately want to get on the property ladder.

Commenting on the news of UK house prices rising, Tom Brown, managing director of real estate at Ingenious, said: ‘The UK property sector continues to demonstrate its resilience and popularity in the face of high inflation and higher borrowing rates. Nationally, there remains a significant shortage of housing inventory across most locations and price points. Consequently, any slow-down in sales volumes from homeowners is likely to be offset by increased demand from renters and investors.

‘However, it’s essential to note that the situation is not uniform throughout the country and across all price ranges. When analysing opportunities, it is key to understand the underlying subsectors and regional dynamics. Taking too broad a view of the market can be misleading. For instance, the institutional housing sector has experienced fewer disruptions compared to the residential sector due to its long-term investment horizon, rental growth and substantial capital inflows.’

Image: Trayan

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