Average house prices reach record high after March Increase

Average house prices strengthened again in March after posting their biggest monthly gain since summer 2017.

That’s according to the latest figures from Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender.

The average property price rose by 1.5% to £227,871 and was 2.7% higher than the same period last year. Comparative year-on-year growth from February to March increased by 0.9%.

The growth is good news for the UK property market as momentum starts to build once more following a period of slower but sustained growth. The bank has predicted a 3% average increase by the years’ end.

Halifax Managing Director, Russell Galley, said: “This lack of direction in the housing market is in stark contrast to the continuing strength of the UK jobs market. The unemployment rate is now the joint lowest since 1975 and in the three months to January there were 402,000 more people in work compared to a year earlier.

“In the coming months, we expect price growth to remain close to our prediction of 3% despite the very positive factors of continuing low mortgage rates, great affordability levels and a robust labour market. The continuing shortage of properties for sale will also support price growth.”

Read more: First-time buyer activity increasing in Q1 of 2018

Whilst a portion of price growth is underpinned by low mortgage rates and a supply vs demand shortfall, demand is only set to increase as mortgages reach their most affordable level for homeowners in 10 years, making homeownership an even more attractive proposition for first-time-buyers in particular.

Again according to Halifax data, typical mortgage payments currently account for 29% of homeowners’ disposable incomes, compared to a hefty 48% in 2007.