Average house prices rose by 1.3 per cent in January, the fourth monthly rise in a row according to the Halifax.
Property prices grew 2.5 per cent annually, the highest annual growth since January 2023; this takes the typical UK home to £291,029, over £3,700 more than just a month ago.
Kim Kinnaird, director of Halifax Mortgages, says: “The recent reduction of mortgage rates from lenders as competition picks up, alongside fading inflationary pressures and a still-resilient labour market has contributed to increased confidence among buyers and sellers. This has resulted in a positive start to 2024’s housing market.
“However, while housing activity has increased over recent months, interest rates remain elevated compared to the historic lows seen in recent years and demand continues to exceed supply. For those looking to buy a first home, the average deposit raised is now £53,414, around 19 per cent of the purchase price. It’s not surprising that almost two thirds of new buyers getting a foot on the ladder are now buying in joint names.
“Looking ahead, affordability challenges are likely to remain and further modest falls should not be ruled out, against a backdrop of broader uncertainty in the economic environment.”
The Halifax says that Northern Ireland recorded the strongest growth across all the nations or regions within the UK - house prices here increased by 5.3 per cent on an annual basis. Properties in Northern Ireland now cost on average £195,760, which is £9,761 higher than the same time in January 2023.
Scotland and Wales both saw positive growth, each up four per cent on an annual basis to £206,087 and £219,609 respectively. North West (up 3.2 per cent), Yorkshire and Humber (up 2.8 per cent), North East (up 2.0 per cent) and East Midlands (0.5 per cent) also recorded house price increases over the last year.
The South East fell the most last month when compared to other UK regions, with homes selling for an average £379,220 (down 2.3 per cent), a drop of £8,866.
London retains the top spot for the highest average house price across all the regions, at £529,528, albeit prices in the capital have declined by 0.4 per cent on an annual basis.