Comment from Iain McKenzie on Halifax HPI:
High levels of property transactions continue to have a positive impact on house prices with the Halifax House Price Index reporting that house prices were +7.5% higher this year than they were in the same month in 2019. The average house price in the UK is now £250,457, breaking through the quarter of a million ceiling for the first time ever.
Factors such as the stamp duty holiday, exceptionally high levels of mortgage approvals and the demand for larger homes with more space continues to drive the market and push prices up, a trend we expect to see over the next few months at the very least.
Despite the more stringent lockdown restrictions in place, both consumer sentiment and demand in the property market remains strong and the level of enquires and transactions remains unseasonably high. According to Yomdel, traffic to agent websites is currently 24% above average. The vast majority of Guild Member agents are the busiest they have ever been and are focusing on getting customers moved in ready for Christmas, as well as before the stamp duty deadline.
The real test of the property market will be after the first quarter of 2021, when stimulating factors such as the stamp duty holiday comes to an end. Other elements that will come into play at the same time include overseas buyers having to pay a 2% surcharge on homes, as well as the Help To Buy scheme will be restricted to first-time buyers with regional price caps.