House Prices Increase By 2.6% in First Quarter of 2015
House prices have increased by 2.6% in the first quarter of 2015 according to figures just released by the Halifax. This brings the average cost of a home across Britain to £193,000. The figures are based on mortgages approved by the Halifax and have been buoyed by an increase of 0.4% in March.
This also means that house prices have increased just over 8% on the year to March. Whilst this may be cause for celebration for many homeowners the rate of increase is lower that the 10.2% increase recorded in July of last year.
It looks like the Halifax could have got it's forecast wrong for 2015 because they predicted that prices would be 3% - 5% higher. Of course there has been a lot of activity amongst buyers because of the recent stamp duty changes and the recent stamp duty holiday for first time buyers came to an end.
The recent increases in wages growth is also fuelling demand although this is not likely to keep up with house price inflation going forward.
Some sellers have been raising their asking prices after the stamp duty changes but many buyers have been digging their heels in and refusing to pay the asking prices being demanded.
There are some mixed messages coming through as 73% of homes were sold for a knock down price in January after the Christmas slump. However this will likely be reversed as we head into the spring market and the market gets going again. A recent report has found that many buyers have given up on homeownership because of the high prices.