U.K. House Prices Gain for a Fourth Month, Halifax Says

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A shortage of homes for sale and a buoyant labor market are expected to underpin the U.K. housing market as consumers come under pressures from soaring inflation and higher interest rates, according to Halifax. The average cost of a home rose 0.9% in October to 270,027 pounds ($364,000), the mortgage lender said Friday. That left values 8.1% higher than a year earlier. Demand for property remained buoyant last month, despite the ending of a temporary tax cut on property purchases introduced by the government last year. That suggests other factors are playing a significant role including pandemic-drive demand for larger homes away from urban center, though Halifax cautioned that the market is set to lose some momentum.

“With the Bank of England expected to react to building inflation risks by raising rates as soon as next month, and further such rises predicted over the next 12 months, we do expect house buying demand to cool in the months ahead as borrowing costs increase,” said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax. “That said, borrowing costs will still be low by historical standards, and raising a deposit is likely to remain the primary obstacle for many. The impact on property prices may also be tempered by the continued limited supply of properties available on the market.”

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