According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, prices in the last three months (September-November) were 2.4% higher than in the previous quarter (June-August). This is the fastest price growth, on this measure, since January. Prices in the three months to November were 3.9% higher than in the same three months a year earlier although the annual change in November was lower than in October (4.5%) and House prices rose by 0.5% between October and November, following a 0.3% increase in October marking the fifth consecutive monthly rise. The average price of £226,821 is 3.2% higher than in January (£219,741).
Turning the attention on sales, data from HMRC suggests transactions grew by a modest 2% to 105,260 in October to reach their highest monthly level in 2017. Sales have remained above 100,000 in all months this year. In the three months to November home sales were 7% higher than in the same period a year earlier. Bank of England figures show there were 64,575 mortgage approvals – a leading indicator of completed house sales – in October down from 66,111 in September, a decline of 2.3%. Since reaching the second highest monthly level this year in July approvals have fallen in three consecutive months. Following a couple of months in which new instructions had held broadly stable, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors data shows the supply of homes for sale sharply deteriorating. On this measure, supply has now fallen in 20 consecutive months to October. On the demand side, new buyer enquiries weakened in both September and October, marking the seventh consecutive month this measure has fallen.