Posts with tag: Fine & Country

Nationwide records slight increase in house prices during November

The Nationwide House Price Index for November records a slight increase in annual house growth, now sitting at 10.0%. This is up from 9.9% in October.

Prices are also up 0.9% month-on-month.

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at independent estate agents James Pendleton, comments: “This market is still barrelling along, even at a time of year that traditionally sees a little energy taken out of it.

“Fewer people choose to move home at Christmas and that normally means you see buyers drop the pace, with many holding off their search until after the New Year. 

“That’s happening to a lesser degree this year but more so for buyers than sellers. This is worsening the supply crunch temporarily and that’s undoubtedly why we’re back in double digits.

“One obvious reason for this is the threat of inflation. With interest rate rises stealing plenty of headlines, everybody has become an armchair economist. It’s common knowledge that rates are historically low and are going to climb soon. The rush to beat rate rises is fuelling an unusually busy market. Mortgage approvals are still running hot as a result so we’re bracing ourselves for an unusually intense December.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says: “Britain’s year on the move continues, with more properties sold already this year than were sold in the whole of 2020.

“Prices are still climbing due to a shortage of stock available to prospective buyers, with many of those working from home still desperately hunting for a larger property and more space.

“There is still some uncertainty in the market, with the new Omicron variant warning people that it’s not business as usual. 

“As long as the labour market remains buoyant and mortgage approvals continue at their current levels, it is likely that the demand for property will remain steady as we move into 2022.”

Craig Tonkin, Bective’s Head of Sales, comments: “While the chances of a white Christmas are slim, property market momentum continues to snowball. As we head into the final stretch of 2021 it’s quite remarkable to not only see a sustained level of high transactional volume but yet another dose of double-digit house price growth.  

“There’s no doubt this is partly being driven by the returning health of the London market. While there are signs that the rest of the market is cooling, the region has gone from strength to strength in recent months. 

“This is not only due to an uplift in domestic activity but also from returning foreign demand across the top tier of the market. We’ve also seen a very strong uplift in rental demand and the combination of all of these factors is helping to push the dial.”

Colby Short, founder and CEO of, comments: “House prices continue to climb despite fears around an interest rates increase and it seems as though the only person that will be working harder than the nation’s estate agents this December is Father Christmas himself. 

“There’s been absolutely no let-up in buyer demand this year and this coupled with ongoing supply limitations has been the driving factor behind such a jolly level of house price appreciation.”

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, says: “House prices remain stubbornly high despite transaction levels beginning to relax following the record surge in activity earlier in the year.

“A poor supply of housing stock has been insufficient to meet the scramble for bigger homes with more outdoor space, and it’s too early yet to predict whether the new strain of Covid will dampen price growth in the future.

“While there’s certainly no evidence that we may be about to move into lower gears, we could experience an easing off from double digit growth in the months ahead.

“For the time being, the market remains buoyant and prices continue to skyrocket.”

Halifax reports record high average house price for UK in October

Published On: November 8, 2021 at 9:15 am


Categories: Property News

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Halifax’s House Price Index for October reports a record high for average house prices, topping £270,000 for the first time.

The highlights of the report include:

  • Average UK property price now a record £270,027
  • Annual house price inflation up to 8.1%, up from 7.4%
  • Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland continue to outperform the UK average

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at independent estate agents James Pendleton, comments: “Annual house price growth hasn’t been stronger since the sunset of the best Stamp Duty savings five months ago.

“However, it’s no magic trick. Despite the Bank of England’s reluctance to raise interest rates this week, everyone knows it’s coming and the only good reason to delay is if your employment situation is precarious.

“That means if someone is thinking of a move, the thought of putting it off and buying with not one but two rates rises possibly behind them by next summer is providing the motivation to just get on with it. That determination is particularly acute for first-time buyers who are more vulnerable to small rises in interest rates and often stretch their budget as far as possible.

“While some predict a cooling in demand as rates begin to rise, the opposite may be true in the short term. Even if rates reach 1% by the end of next year, it’s a long way short of the 5% that many older homeowners consider normal. A tangible rush to buy could last another 12 months at least. 

“Pair that off with low stock and a tight jobs market, and the result is a market that, despite massive rises, seems to just be hanging there in the air.

“It’s a case of so-far-so-good this autumn. The final quarter of the year was always billed as the point at which we would discover how the UK was going to fare with the crutches kicked away but, thanks to the furlough scheme, job security isn’t a threat looming over demand in the way that was once feared.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says: “The house price boom continued in October, and with an interest rate rise put on hold this week, it looks like the upwards trend will continue for the coming months. 

“It’s jaw-dropping to think that the average property is now worth £270,000. In November 2011, the equivalent house cost £167,757, meaning that prices have risen by more than £100,000 in ten years.

“Despite this, first-time buyers have been making the most of low borrowing rates to get on the property ladder, and are partly responsible for driving prices up.

“A desire for more space among home-owners is causing demand to outstrip housing supply, and a resilient labour market means that many people still feel confident in committing to a mortgage.

“One thing is for certain, though – this is a seller’s market. If you are considering selling your home, you could find that the time it takes to sell will be measured in hours, not days.”

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, says: “It seems like nothing can stand in the way of Britain’s blistering housing market.

“Soaring inflation, increased taxes and the end of the Stamp Duty have so far failed to dampen what remains a red-hot sellers market.

“Even the threat of increased borrowing costs appears to have made little difference as the huge imbalance between supply and demand continues to fuel robust price growth right across the country.

“The frenetic pace we’ve seen this year has left many gasping for air and, while some still predict that the weakening outlook for the economy will eventually cause prices to flatline, in reality these pressures may take a long time to exert any meaningful effect.

“Even if the Bank of England begins increasing its base rate next month, this is unlikely to have any impact on the housing market until well into next year.

“More records are being broken every month and those experts predicting a dip may end up waiting a very long time before their prophecies come true.”

Average UK house price hits quarter of million pounds in Nationwide report

The average house price in the UK was recorded as £250,311 for October 2021 in Nationwide’s latest House Price Index.

The report states that annual house price growth remained elevated at 9.9%, prices were up 0.7% month-on-month, and the average property price was up by more than £30k since the pandemic struck.

Nicholas Christofi, Managing Director of Sirius Property Finance, comments: “As is often the case in the mortgage space, what comes down must eventually go up again and we may well start to see mortgage rates creep up over the remainder of the year.

“This may be a scary thought for a generation of homeowners and buyers who have only even experienced record low rates and mortgage affordability for over a decade now and we could see the current rate of house price growth slow as many take a more conservative approach to borrowing.

“But this is no cause for panic, mortgage rates ebb and flow and while there may be an increase, this is not a return to the 1990s. Mortgage rates will remain near to historic lows and regulations have dictated for some time that new borrowers are ‘stretch tested’ before being granted a loan to avoid any financial turmoil.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “The first look at a post Stamp Duty holiday market suggests that the tapered deadline has helped to negate any market collapse. That and the continued high demand for housing, of course.

“Any signs of a winter freeze look unlikely and with homebuyers continuing to enter the market at mass, market activity will remain high right through until next year.

“We’re now starting to see the London market build a serious head of steam and as the capital starts to find its previous form, this will only impact topline market performance positively.”

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Any market uncertainty that may currently remain is merely a drop in the ocean compared to the last 18 months and so the chances of a house price decline this side of Christmas are slim, to say the least.

“We’re still seeing an incredibly high level of market activity despite the end of the Stamp Duty holiday and while there are murmurs of an increase in interest rates, this is unlikely to deter the average homebuyer who will continue to benefit from a very favourable cost of borrowing.”

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at independent estate agents James Pendleton, says: “The market remains solid because there are still plenty of reasons to buy now rather than wait. 

“We may be a month on from the end of the Stamp Duty tax break but a near-certain string of interest rate rises over the next 18 months is proving to be a far more powerful motivation to transact than the Stamp Duty holiday ever was. 

“Concerns over rising inflation have eclipsed the handout as a key driver of demand and you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that locking in an attractive 10-year mortgage rate now may be the best financial decision you ever make. First-time buyers are particularly eager to do so. Having only ever known rock-bottom interest rates, there’s a little fear of the unknown incentivising them to act quickly now.

“Buyers are also always reluctant to hold out for a softening in prices that may never appear and that’s shining through in behaviour on the doorstep at the moment. The old investment adage still holds true. It’s time in the market, not timing the market that matters over the long run.

“Waiting for prices to dip 5% means you may be waiting for a day that never arrives. That applies nationally, let alone in London where price growth has been more subdued since the start of the pandemic. Buyers would be foolish to try it in the capital against a backdrop of an overhyped exodus that now looks more like an extended holiday for many than a migration.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says: “It was business as usual for the property market in October, with the ending of the Stamp Duty holiday having little obvious effect.

“It’s telling that mortgage applications in September were higher than the same time two years ago, indicating that buyers are still keen to move. 

“The growth in prices is driven by the demand for housing, coupled with a shortage of stock on the market. That is unlikely to change soon, although there may be some slowdown in activity as we go deeper into winter.

“Months of continued house price growth mean the average family home now costs a quarter of a million pounds. In November 2011, the average house cost £167,757, meaning that prices have risen by half in ten years.

“While the labour market remains strong, most families will feel secure enough to take on a mortgage, although any future interest rate rise could deter people.

“We’re expecting a busy time in the lead up to Christmas, which is traditionally a hectic period for estate agents, as prospective buyers hope to move into their new home in time for the festivities.”

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, comments: “Finally, we are getting our first glimpse of what the housing market might look like now the Stamp Duty holiday has ended.

“Momentum remains almost unchanged despite many predicting more subdued growth and an end to the giant spikes witnessed earlier in the year.

“What is clear is that the appetite among buyers remains as strong as ever and so far the expiry of the Stamp Duty holiday has had no visible impact on demand.

“Tomorrow the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee takes centre stage as the country braces itself for its first interest rate hike since 2007.

“The boom was powered in part by record low borrowing costs as well as the Chancellor’s tax incentives but already we are seeing high street lenders bump up their rates in anticipation of a Bank of England hike, something which may cause house price growth to dampen.

“Most expect interest rate rises to be incremental so as not to choke off economic recovery, and it may well present opportunities for buyers looking to negotiate on price.

“The dynamics of the housing market may be about to shift slowly once again, but make no mistake, the boom still isn’t over.”

Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, comments: “A boom that many predicted would burn itself out is still in full flow despite the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.

“While on the front line we’re seeing some asking prices being reduced as the market begins to normalise, monthly price growth in October actually accelerated, doing the exact opposite of what might have been expected after the end of the Chancellor’s tax incentives.

“The white heat of price inflation seen for much of this year is still creating sleepless nights in Threadneedle St.

“Money markets are increasingly bringing forward their predictions of rate rises but even if a string of small adjustments do happen, loss of price momentum is likely to still be gradual. In most areas it will be a case of things ‘calming down’ rather than ‘going down’.

“There are still thousands of would-be buyers and the market remains broadly in good health but an increasing number of house hunters are starting to find they have the will, if not quite the way, to buy.

“The chronic shortage of homes for sale is the most obvious problem. But with average house prices hitting ten times average earnings in hotspots like Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol, first-time buyers are seeing their affordability stretched to breaking point. And with mortgage rates starting to creep up, some buyers are pausing for thought – and this is forcing sellers to recalibrate.”

Autumn Budget announced: Changes welcome but not enough

In yesterday’s Autumn Budget announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Universal Credit taper will be cut from 63% to 55% from 1st December 2021.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), comments: “(Yesterday’s) announcement is welcome news for those private tenants who have struggled to afford their rents throughout the pandemic, despite private rents falling in real terms.

“However, it does not undo the damage that previous decisions to freeze housing benefit rates in cash terms will cause. It is simply bizarre to have a system in which support for housing costs will no longer track market rents. The Chancellor needs to undo this unjust policy as matter of urgency.”

Another key announcement welcomed by the NRLA is that the deadline for residents to report and pay Capital Gains Tax after selling UK residential property has increased from 30 days after the completion date to 60 days as of 27th October 2021.

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, also comments on this news: “Millions of homeowners across the country will be pleased to hear that the Chancellor has resisted calls to increase Capital Gains Tax.

“Though CGT has long been an emotive issue for some, there is no amount of amending that would have assisted in making up for gaps in public finances created by the pandemic.

“HMRC has already seen CGT receipts jump 62% in the last five years. Increasing taxes further at a time when the economy is still recovering from the worst shock on record would not have been a wise move by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget.”

The NRLA also welcomes the Government’s pledge to bring forward exemptions to the Shared Accommodation Rate for victims of domestic abuse and victims of modern slavery from October 2023 to October 2022. The Shared Accommodation Rate limits housing benefit support for single people under 35 to a room in a shared house. Those vulnerable will be able to claim the higher 1-bedroom self-contained Local Housing Allowance rate.

Government releases August House Price Index, revealing average up 10.6% annually

The average house price in the UK increased 10.6% year-on-year, according to the Government’s House Price Index for August. The monthly price change was 2.9%.

The average house price was at £264,244 during August 2021, the report shows.

Alice Bullard, Head of Commercial at Nested, comments: “We continue to find ourselves in a dramatically different place compared to just 12 months ago with property prices still showing phenomenal levels of growth, driven by high levels of buyer demand.

“While mortgage rates remain at such affordable levels, we’re unlikely to see any let-up in this tidal wave of activity that has washed over the market since it reopened.

“However, it looks increasingly likely that we could see an increase in interest rates as early as the start of next year. So those considering a purchase may want to act sooner rather than later to lock in the very best rates.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, says: “Yet further proof that the drop in property prices following the initial Stamp Duty holiday deadline was merely a pause for breath in an otherwise marathon run of positive market momentum.

“There’s little sign of this letting up and should an increase in interest rates materialise, the likelihood is that it will be fairly palatable for the average homebuyer. Therefore, we don’t expect it to have any notable impact on the nation’s insatiable appetite for homeownership and the market should continue moving forward at pace well into next year.”

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, says: “The current state of the market is quite remarkable given what we’ve been through as a nation since the start of last year. Employment and wage growth have remained firm, mortgage affordability is still hovering around record lows and house prices continue to climb ever higher.

“As a result, buyers continue to mob the market and while an interest rate hike is on the horizon, we expect these factors to continue to stimulate positive house price growth for the remainder of the year.

“Forget about a shortage of HGV drivers, we need more estate agents to get us through until Christmas.”

Colby Short, Founder and CEO of, comments: “A continued shortage of stock has seen the ball lie increasingly within the court of the home seller, as buyers fight it out to secure their ideal home.

“As a result, buyers entering the ring can expect some stiff competition that will see them pay close to asking price, if not more, in order to come away victorious.

“The best plan of attack is to be ready to act at a moment’s notice and if you are a cash buyer, ensure the seller is aware that you sit in a far more favourable position.”

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at independent estate agents James Pendleton, comments: “Just as you think the rally may be fading, London shows its true colours and delivers a trebling in the annual rate of growth. House prices in the capital have leapt almost £28,000 in a single month, showing that a return to normality has jolted the city back into life.

“The London market had been languishing in the doldrums in relative terms until now. It has been the poor relation, although the headline figures have masked pockets of intense fighting over particular properties in key areas.

“The capital’s annual growth rate flew from 2.2% in July to 7.5% in August. That’s quite a jump given that it’s London’s highest annual rise since the pandemic began, and the government Stamp Duty tax break that still prevailed here was nothing close to the scheme at its most generous earlier this year. The lettings market also continues to see fierce activity with the most desirable properties in each price band being taken off the table faster than sales.

“The capital has turned a corner and we expect the London market to now mount a charge and make up for lost time that saw the regions get all the fanfare over the past 18 months.”

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, says: “Just when you thought it was safe to predict the end of the housing boom, you get another dramatic spike in prices that no one saw coming.

“This data captures the final surge of the Stamp Duty holiday as buyers put their foot back on the gas to complete transactions before the end of the Chancellor’s tax breaks.

“It marks a big turnaround from July’s figures which showed a month-on-month dip. Suddenly we’re back in high gear again, with annual price rises accelerating back into the double digits.

“Looking ahead, the country is now braced for an era of higher borrowing costs as the Bank of England looks to tame inflation. While this may stretch affordability for first-time-buyers, its effect on the wider housing market may not be as pronounced.

“Demand will continue to outstrip supply for some time to come as even the best planned new build schemes face excessive delays as a result of material and worker shortages. The housing boom just seems to rumble on regardless of forecasts to the contrary.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says: “There are no signs that house prices are going to fall anytime soon and these figures show how property values have been inflated by surging demand.

“The underlying cause of this current wave of price rises is the shortage of stock available from estate agents. The number of properties available to buy started to dwindle after the first lockdown and this trend looks set to continue while demand remains high.

“Just as the end of the Stamp Duty holiday motivated a frenzy to buy, predictions of impending mortgage rate rises are also likely to spur on buyers. “These figures tell the story of the ‘flight from the city’, with London prices increasing at the slowest rate in the country and Scotland roaring ahead.”

Halifax reports average house prices increased sharply in September

Average house prices increased 7.4% annually in September, Halifax’s latest figures show, up from 7.2% in August.

The report also states that the average UK property price is now at a record £267,587. Wales continues to outperform the UK average house price inflation, with an annual growth of 11.5%. Scotland has also continued to outperform the UK average, with a growth of 8.3%.

Industry reactions

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Although the second phase of the Stamp Duty holiday continued to offer a notable saving for a great deal of homebuyers, we simply didn’t see the same mass panic to complete ahead of the deadline that had previously gripped the market. So, it’s unlikely that the buoyant conditions we’re still seeing are solely a result of the holiday itself.

“While there will no doubt be some form of erratic price movement on a month-to-month basis until the market settles down for good, we don’t expect the removal of this tax incentive to significantly impact the market at any level.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “The Stamp Duty holiday clock has now well and truly expired and those to have seen a last gasp saving would have entered the market many months ago in order to complete in time. As such, it’s fair to say that the property market is very much standing on its own two feet and so any fears of a market collapse following the Stamp Duty holiday can now be well and truly put to bed.

“Of course, such heightened levels of market activity may inevitably bring a slight cooling in the rate of house price growth, but that’s to be expected.

“The London market has been waiting patiently in the shadows watching manic levels of activity play out across the rest of the UK. The higher price of property has long seen many London homebuyers disregard the importance of the Stamp Duty holiday, particularly since the price threshold was reduced.

“However, we’ve seen a far more natural level of momentum building across the market and this looks set to snowball during the autumn and winter months. As a result, our money is on London to finish the year with the most impressive performance where house price growth is concerned.”

Colby Short, Founder and CEO of, comments: “It’s a relief to have woken up and seen the world still turning post Stamp Duty holiday having heard many spout predictions of property market Armageddon.

“While Stamp Duty may be a dubious government money grab in the eyes of most, it’s simply not enough to deter our aspirations of homeownership and the market is still in very good health.

“The cost of borrowing remains favourable and this will continue to fuel demand while a significant imbalance between this demand and the stock available will ensure house price growth remains buoyant.”

Walid Koudmani, market analyst at financial brokerage XTB, comments: “Data from Halifax showed UK house prices grew 7.4% annually, whilst a monthly growth of 1.7% was the strongest pace since 2007. This cuts a three-month downward trend in annual price growth.

“It’s clear one key driver of the price growth continues to be hunger for houses as buyers demand more space as firms have moved to maintain flexible working between the office and home. This is why house price growth exceeds flat price growth by 8.9% to 6.1%. Yet also the lack of supply is also a key driver here behind the price growth, with many buyers bringing completions early to take advantage of the Stamp Duty discount which has now expired.

“It’s likely that supply will continue to be short in the very near term and this may likely keep house prices elevated in the months ahead. The medium-term picture remains much more uncertain however as its likely prospective buyers may start to be priced out due to looming interest rate rises and inflationary pressures.”

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, says: “A reality check has been forthcoming — it’s just not the one anyone was expecting. 

“House price growth has accelerated just as the market’s crutches have been taken away. This is the exact opposite of what logic dictated should have happened in September and tells you the rally isn’t over yet. 

“The housing market has hurtled into what had been widely billed as a period of adjustment but its reaction has defied gravity yet again.

“All major government support, in the form of the furlough scheme and Stamp Duty giveaway, had effectively vanished in the minds of these buyers. However, fears of an immediate and animated slowdown have come to nothing. 

“This suggests the pandemic has done more than deliver a head-turning run of record highs. Changes in property shopping habits could well have some of the permanence that has only been an article of faith so far, even once you factor in the persistent lack of stock that continues to put a floor under prices.”

Lucy Pendleton, property expert at independent estate agents James Pendleton, comments: “The market has delivered a record high just as the stool was being kicked away. It also did it in some style. The last time we saw monthly price growth like this, Tony Blair was Prime Minister.

“For all the talk of this rally slowing, it’s still right up there with some of the most bullish markets on record.

“However, London continues to underperform. Average prices are so much higher in the capital that a period out of the limelight isn’t necessarily a problem on paper but investors are keeping a keen eye on London’s post-pandemic recovery. Ultimately, they will go where the demand is but it’s too early to tell whether an influx of buyers and renters will put the capital back in pole position next year in relative terms. 

“The reinstatement of an office into people’s work routine is still a work in progress but, judging by the number of people we speak to who have done a screeching u-turn on plans to move to the country, rumours of a weakening of demand for London property seem to have been greatly overstated. 

“Buyers with the flexibility to drop everything and go on a viewing are becoming rarer by the day. People are living their new normal — it’s just not as new as we all thought it was going to be.

“The economic pain expected over the next six months could hasten the capital’s re-emergence as the country’s best performing region but that’s a silver lining to a dark cloud that could sorely affect the wider market.

“The uncertainty of a world not propped up by Stamp Duty tax breaks and furlough handouts is likely to most severely affect the regions where growth has truly been on fire.”

Karthik Srivats, co-founder of mortgage lender Ahauz, comments: “It’s been a frenetic time in the housing market and this data shows things have not got any easier for first-time buyers.

“The tail end of the Stamp Duty holiday has seen a bump in house prices after a period in which the pace of annual growth appeared to be slowing slightly.

“Growth in prices continues to outstrip wages and raising a deposit the old-fashioned way through patient savings remains an unrealistic dream for most. With the cost of living going up and an upcoming increase in taxes, first time buyers across the country are craving for any kind of support to get on the property ladder.

“One piece of good news is that first time buyers now have sole access to Stamp Duty relief on purchases up to £300,000 which may give them a slight edge going forward. 

“Looking ahead, while many are still forecasting more modest gains later in the year, it really is a case of, believe it when you see it.

“Rock bottom interest rates and a continued demand for bigger homes with more outdoor space may well support buyer activity for some time to come.”