March 2020 House Price Index published by Halifax
The March 2020 House Price Index published by Halifax shows house prices remained stable before coronavirus restrictions introduced.
- House prices in March were 3.0% higher than in the same month a year earlier
- On a monthly basis, house prices were flat at 0.0%
- In the latest quarter (January to March) house prices were 2.1% higher than in the preceding three months (October to December)
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said:
“The UK housing market began March with similar trends to previous months, as key market indicators showed a sustained level of buyer and seller activity. Overall average house prices in the month were little changed from February’s record high, while annual growth nudged up to 3%.
“These factors all underlined a positive trajectory and increased momentum in the early part of the year, with confidence rising as political and economic uncertainty eased. However, it’s clear we ended the month in very different territory as a result of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“On a practical level, most market activity has been paused, with the public rightly following advice to stay at home, and estate agencies, surveyors and conveyancers temporarily closing as a result. With viewings cancelled and movers being encouraged to put transactions on hold, activity will inevitably fall sharply in the coming months. It should be noted that with less data available, calculating average house prices is likely to become more challenging in the short-term.
“However, it’s still too early to properly assess what potential long-term impacts the current lockdown might have on the UK housing market. While there is very significant uncertainty at the moment, much will depend on the length of time it takes for restrictions to be lifted, the pressure that has been exerted on the economy in the meantime and the effect this has on consumer sentiment.
“Lenders have stepped up to offer their support, giving customers up to an additional three months to complete their home purchase at the agreed mortgage rate, alongside payment holidays for existing customers. We continue to have confidence in the fundamental strength of the housing market and remain ready and willing to lend on new mortgages, as well as product transfers and further advances, wherever and whenever there is demand.”
- HMRC Monthly property transactions data shows a rise in UK home sales in February. UK seasonally adjusted residential transactions in February 2020 were 103,870 – up by 4.5% from January and the highest level since March 2017. Year-on-year, transactions in February were approximately 6.0% higher than February 2019 (6.6% higher on a non-seasonally adjusted basis). (Source: HMRC, seasonally-adjusted figures)
- Mortgage approvals have risen from January. Bank of England figures show that the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases were 73,546 in February 2020 – this represents a 3.1% month on month rise, following a rise of 4.7% in December. Year on year growth is 12.5%. (Source: Bank of England, seasonally-adjusted figures)
- The latest set of results (February 2020) for the RICS Residential Market Survey have shown demand, sales and new instructions all rise for a third successive month. Buyer demand has a net balance of +20% (+23% previously). Agreed sales rose for a third time to a net balance of +22% in February. Instructions to sell also showed a net balance of +15% (+19% previously). (Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) monthly report)
Kindly shared by Halifax