Spring property market warms up as house prices see record monthly rise
House prices increased by a record 5.9% last month with the average asking price rising to £236,800.
That’s according to the latest Halifax house price index which also reported a 2.8% annual increase and +1.8% quarterly change.
The monthly price increase in February marks the highest monthly rise on record, highlighting the level of pent-up demand in the property market and limited supply.
Managing director at Halifax, Russell Galley said of the figures that: “House prices have grown on an annual, quarterly and monthly basis for the first time since October 2018, taking the average house price to £236,800.
“The shortage of houses for sale will certainly be playing a role in supporting prices. House price growth is now at 1.8%, an increase from the 0.6% fall last month, and back at the rate we saw from July to September 2018.”
February represented the largest comparative annual price growth since August last year, with average asking prices standing £13,171 higher than in January.
London market becoming more attractive
Whilst much of the news surrounding the London property market over the last six to 12 months has highlighted a case of stretched buyer affordability, capital dwellers leaving for more northerly cities and one of the only UK markets to see negative growth, there are now far more positive signs for both buyers and owners alike.
Managing director of Chestertons, Guy Gittins noted that: “Property values in the capital – particularly in prime locations – have now come down to a level that is proving increasingly attractive to potential buyers, driving a huge surge in the number of people registering with agents and buying property since January.
“This dramatic imbalance between supply and demand is starting to fuel small price increases in areas like Hyde Park, Fulham and Putney as competition ramps up.”
First-time buyers spearheading demand
The continued strong demand for properties has been spearheaded by the first-time buyer contingent, with 27% of all mortgage approvals in January from low-deposit buyers, typically first-time homeowners.
Pete Mugleston, managing director of Online Mortgage Advisor who commented that: “The annual, quarterly and monthly growth of house prices announced by Halifax this morning, is likely a result of the increasing numbers of first-time buyers on the market.
“In fact, we’ve seen a 54.6 per cent uplift in mortgage enquiries, in line with the yesterday’s UK Finance data that also showed new homeowners are at an all-time high.
“This spells really positive news for the housing industry as market activity is set to increase even in light of the current political landscape.”