UK house prices down 3% in January after a stagnant 2018, says Halifax

British annual house price growth has cooled yet again in January, as Brexit continues to weigh heavy on the UK housing market, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

UK House Prices Source: Bloomberg

UK property prices have seen ‘next to no movement’ over the last year, with annual house price growth of just 0.8%, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

Despite a 2.5% rise in house prices in December, the property market took a major hit in January to kick start what is likely to be a tough year for the UK housing market, with prices decreasing by 2.9%.

‘Attention will no doubt be drawn towards the monthly fall of 2.9% from December to January, the second time in three years that we have seen a drop as a new year starts,’ Halifax Managing Director Russell Galley said. ‘However, the bigger picture is actually that house prices have seen next to no movement over the last year, with annual growth of just 0.8%.’

‘This could either be viewed as a story of resilience, as prices have held up well in the face of significant economic uncertainty, or as a continuation of the slow growth we’ve witnessed over recent years,’ he added.

Brexit weighs heavy on British housing market

With the March 29 Brexit deadline looming large, this year promises to be a challenging one for the UK housing market, with the sector unsure how severe Britain’s departure from the bloc will be on the house prices.

‘There’s no doubt that the next year will be important for the housing market with much of the immediate focus on what impact Brexit may have,’ Galley said. ‘However, more fundamentally it is key underlying factors of supply and demand that will ultimately shape the market.’

Halifax House Price Index: key figures

Prices in the three months to January were 0.8% higher than in the same three months a year earlier – down from the 1.3% annual growth rate recorded in December, according to the mortgage lender.

Meanwhile, the data showed that house prices in the latest quarter (November-January) were 0.6% lower than in the preceding three months (August - October).

On a monthly basis, house prices decreased by 2.9% in January, following a 2.5% rise in December, with the average house price is now £223,691

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