According to Halifax the average price of a property has grown over 10% in the last 12 months to end of March
Halifax has reported that the average house price to end of March now stands at £214,811 up 10.1% £21,587 the 2nd biggest increase since the crash in September 2007.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said that property price rises were being driven by an ‘acute’ supply/demand imbalance, despite an improvement in the number of properties coming on to the market for sale in recent months.
This rise, however, was not sufficient to prevent the stock of secondhand properties for sale falling as sales increased, Halifax said.
‘This, together with continuing low interest rates and a healthy labour market, indicate that house price growth is set to remain robust’, Ellis said
Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said: ‘The Halifax data have been markedly stronger and also more volatile than other house price measures, but the Nationwide also reported a marked pick up in house prices in March.
‘This suggests that a recent pick-up in housing market activity by buy-to-let investors and second home buyers looking to beat April’s rise in Stamp Duty has had an upward impact on prices.’
‘Post April, a likely waning of buy-to-let and second home interest may modestly dilute housing market activity and ease upward pressure on prices.’
Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS chairman and north London estate agent, said the housing market may have peaked, or be very close to it.
‘Demand from landlords and second homeowners keen to complete before the April stamp duty hike has now fallen away so it will be interesting to see what April’s house price index reveals’, he said.
‘However, we don’t expect prices to fall by as much as some predict because of the number of first-time buyers in the market taking advantage of low interest rates.’
He added: ‘The other reason why we don’t expect prices to fall is that at the coalface there is still a general shortage of the sort of property that people want to buy. Although more property is coming onto the market, much of it is aimed at investors who understandably are more reluctant to proceed because of higher stamp duty charges.’