House prices UK: Expert explains what Halifax house price index figures mean for YOU | Property | Life & Style

The first Halifax house price index of 2018 was released this week, and one expert has picked through the data to explain what it means for homeowners in the UK.

Figures revealed continued growth in the market, with a rise in prices of an average of 2.7 per cent.

This was, however, a monthly slowdown of -0.6 per cent. The average house price in the UK now stands at £225,021.

Louisa Fletcher, Property Expert, commented: “The latest report released by the Halifax suggests that annual house price growth overall for 2017 was 2.7 per cent, which is broadly similar to the Nationwide data released last week which indicated that the average property value increased by 2.6 per cent last year.

“The Halifax report also concurs with other sources, such as RICS, by suggesting that annual house price growth for 2018 will be between zero per cent and three per cent, indicating that the market as a whole is likely to be flat for much of the year.

“Given that we’re going into 2018 with an established picture of a lack of homes for sale in many areas and subdued output from new home builders, coupled with ongoing buyer demand in many areas which is being assisted by low interest rates – notwithstanding the increase we saw in November – I’d suggest that 2018 is likely to be ‘more of the same’ in terms of the pattern we’ve seen developing over the previous twelve months.”

Some areas will do better than others, as Louisa explained: “It’s also quite possible that the disparity between further potential increases in the North, Scotland and Midlands in contrast to cooling prices in London and the surrounding areas may well also continue.

“The changes to Stamp Duty (SDLT) for First Time Buyers at the end of last year may well stimulate the market in certain areas where stock is available, however activity at this level is likely to take a few months to become evident.”

While prices are still slowly rising, Sarah Beeny advises now is the time to buy a home.

With no tree canopies to hide eyesore views you get to see the bare bones of the building and make a sensible purchase.

Her online estate agency found that 18 per cent of people moving into a new home have boiler problems, 18 per cent have electrical issues, 17 per cent find their heating doesn’t work properly and the same number have plumbing problems or faulty windows.

More than 2,000 18 to 65-year-olds who had bought a house in the past year or were in the process or planning to buy one…

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