First official figures show house prices rose in January
The first official house price statistics for 2017 have just been released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Land Registry. Figures show that the average house price in the UK in January reached £218,255, representing a 6.2 per cent yearly increase.
While this figure was 0.5 per cent higher than in December 2016, the rise still fell below the average annual house price growth of 7.4 per cent that was recorded last year. Throughout 2016, housing prices for the average property also increased on a monthly basis by 0.8 per cent.
As well as the figures concerning housing price increases, the ONS report also highlighted that demand is still much higher than supply throughout the country. According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), January was the 11th consecutive month that saw no improvement to property listings in the UK.
Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov, said: “Although mortgage-based indices like Halifax and Nationwide offer an indication on how the market is behaving, this first set of 2017 data from the government provides a concrete look on how the market has emerged from an up and down 2016.
“Despite the seasonal lull towards the end of the year, prices have continued their upward trend and the market looks strong heading into 2017. This continued growth does hinge on next Wednesday’s triggering of Article 50, however."
He continued to say that while many people are predicting that the triggering of Article 50 will have negative results, there is a chance it might stabilise the market even more as the period of "Brexit limbo" will be over.
According to Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC, the reduction in the figures recorded in November and December is possibly the result if the Brexit-related slowdown, which was predicted last year. He continued to say that it is possible house prices in 2017 may only rise by between two and five per cent as people wait to see what the effects of Brexit will be.
However, the six per cent increase in housing prices in January is a good start to the year and shows that the market is fairly healthy.