The bank says house prices increased by 1.4 per cent in November, after an increase of 1.1 per cent in October. It also says the average house price is up by 4.2 per cent in the first eleven months of 2009. Halifax says prices are still 1.6 per cent lower than November 2008.
It says the average house price in the UK is now £167,664, up from £165,349 in October 2009. Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says the data available on the UK market suggest that prices will remain flat throughout 2010.
Ellis says slightly higher demand has combined with a low level of properties available for sale to push up prices. Looking forward, he says the prospects for the UK housing market will depend on how the UK economy evolves.
He says: “The recovery in house prices since the spring has been driven by increased demand for property, largely due to the improvement in affordability for existing homeowners and first-time buyers who can raise the necessary deposit.”
Property Portfolio Rescue director Nick Hopkinson says: “With the economy still floundering, the foundations for a market recovery are simply not in place and as soon as stock increases, prices will fall again.
“Tax increases, reducing household incomes and rising unemployment are proving huge stumbling blocks for homeowners who are increasingly falling into serious mortgage arrears, stunting any market activity. We are unlikely to see any real improvement before the end of 2012.”