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UK house prices saw their biggest monthly rise in November since February, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

House prices were up 1% on the month following a 0.1% decline in October and beating expectations of a 0.7% fall.

On the year, house prices rose 2.1% in November following a 0.9% increase the month before. In the quarter to November, meanwhile, prices were up 0.2%, unchanged from the previous month.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “Prices are now up by £3,904 since the start of the year. While a degree of uncertainty remains evident, it’s also clear that buyers and sellers are responding to factors such as improved mortgage affordability and the limited supply of available properties.

“It is these issues which we believe will continue to underpin the resilience evident in the market for most of 2019. Over the medium term we expect the emerging trend of modest gains to continue into next year.”

Guy Harrington, chief executive officer of property lender Glenhawk, said: “This is a sign that the UK public are fed up with the political shenanigans. The general election is going to be a catalyst of some sort, and with all signs pointing towards a majority Conservative government, we could be saying ‘au revoir’ to the inertia that has characterised the market for far too long.”

Capital Economics economist Hansen Lu was more sceptical. “This rise in annual house price growth seems to be an outlier,” he said. “After all, the Nationwide recorded house prices rising at just 0.8% year-on-year for the same period, while Rightmove’s measure of asking prices showed a 0.3% y/y gain. Of course, there could be some truth in November’s strong month-on-month figure. After all, the Nationwide recorded an also punchy 0.5% month-on-month rise in November – which was the fastest reading in 16 months. Then again, house price indices can be volatile, so we’d avoid putting too much weight on just one reading.

“Indeed, looking ahead, we expect only a limited pick-up in house price growth over the next few years. Previous bouts of rapid house price growth reflected a structural fall in interest rates. But with interest rates now at or close to their floor, that force has been expended. As a result, while an easing in economic and political uncertainty might allow a slight pick-up in house price growth, we expect the magnitude of any rise to be limited.”

By Michele Maatouk

Source: Share Cast

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