Surprise Boost as Annual House Price Rises Hit 4%

House prices have started 2020 with a big jump - according to data from one of the country’s largest mortgage lenders.

The Halifax says property values increased by 4% last year with a 1.7% in December - the most significant monthly rise in 2019. 

The average home costs £238,963, with prices for the last three months of the year up 1% on the previous quarter. 

This compares with an average price of £230,721 in January 2019 - a gain of £8,242 across the year.

Russell Galley, managing director at The Halifax, said: 

“Average house prices rose at the top of our predicted range of 2% to 4% growth for the year. This was driven by a monthly gain of 1.7% in December which was the biggest monthly increase of 2019, pushing up the year-on-year growth rate and reflecting that December 2018 was a particularly weak month. 

“Looking ahead, we expect uncertainty in the economy to ease in 2020, which should see the number of properties hanging hands increase and further price growth boosted by an improvement in household real incomes. 

“Longer term issues, such as the shortage of homes for sale and low levels of house-building will continue to limit supply, while the ongoing challenges faced by prospective buyers in raising deposits will serve to constrain demand. As a result, we expect a modest pace of gains to continue into next year.”

The Halifax House Price Index covers all of the UK. 

Meanwhile, letting agent, Goodlord released data showing the rental market remained stable in England and Wales during December. 

Most regions saw rents stay the same or rise slightly from November, with payments from tenants falling 2% in the Home Counties and 3% in the North East. 

Average monthly rents in 2019 worked out as £927.

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