UK

  • Prior +0.9%; revised to +1.0%
  • House prices +8.2% y/y
  • Prior +8.1%; revised to +8.2%

House prices continue to surge higher in the UK, up for a fifth straight month. Of note, the average UK property price has now hit a record high of £272,992 with quarterly house price inflation now at its strongest level since late 2006.

Halifax notes that:

"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. 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.

“We see this across different property types too, with double-digit annual price inflation for flats (+10.8%) over the last year compared to slower gains for detached properties (6.6%). This could suggest the ‘race for space’ is becoming less prominent than it was earlier in the pandemic, with industry data also showing the overall number of completed transactions has fallen back since the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.

“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. Economic confidence may be also be dented by the emergence of the new Omicron virus variant, though it remains far too early to speculate on any long-term impact, given insufficient data at this stage, not to mention the resilience the housing market has already shown 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.”