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UK house prices rise at fastest rate in 15 years

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UK house prices
This is the fifth straight month that average house prices have risen, with typical values up by almost £13,000 since June, and more than £20,000 since this time last year. Photo: Andrew Winning/Reuters

UK house prices rose in November, with quarterly house price inflation hitting its strongest level since late 2006, new data revealed.

Halifax’s recent house price index showed the average UK property price reached a new record high of £272,992 ($362,708) in November, increasing by another 1%, or £2,808, and tipping the annual rate of inflation up to 8.2%.

On a rolling quarterly basis the uptick in house prices was 3.4%.

This is the fifth straight month that average house prices have risen, with typical values up by almost £13,000 since June, and more than £20,000 since this time last year.

Meanwhile, the Welsh average property price broke past £200,000 for the first time ever. 

Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, and the UK first entering lockdown, house prices have risen by £33,816, which equates to £1,691 per month.

“The performance of the market continues to be underpinned by a shortage of available properties, a strong labour market and keen competition amongst mortgage providers keeping rates close to historic lows,” said Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax.

“Those taking their first step onto the property ladder are also playing an important role in driving activity, with annual house price inflation for first-time buyers at 9.1% compared to 8.8% for homemovers," he added.

He said the double-digit annual price inflation for flats (10.8%) over the last year compared to slower gains for detached properties (6.6%) could suggest the ‘race for space’ is becoming less prominent than it was earlier in the pandemic.

Watch: How much money do I need to buy a house?

Industry data shows the overall number of completed transactions has fallen back since the end of the stamp duty holiday in September.

Read more: Is this a good time to overpay my mortgage?

“Looking ahead, there is now greater uncertainty than has been the case for quite some time, with interest rates expected to rise to guard against further increases in inflation,” Galley noted.

He added that economic confidence may be be dented by the emergence of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, although the housing market has shown resilience in challenging circumstances.

“Leaving aside the direct impact of a possible resurgence in the pandemic for now, we would not expect the current level of house price growth to be sustained next year given that house price to income ratios are already historically high, and household budgets are only likely to come under greater pressure in the coming months,” said Galley.

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