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Annual house price growth reaches 4% in December

House price growth reached 4% in the year to December 2019 despite pre-election jitters, Halifax’s House Price Index found.

Prices rose by 1.7% on a monthly basis, bringing quarterly growth back up to 1.0%.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “On the back of the largest monthly increase for the year in November, prices are up even more in December on a monthly and annualised basis.

“But price rises are reflecting more of a shortage of stock at the moment than significant increases in demand and not widely in London where affordability is most stretched.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The housing market surged in December, according to Halifax, with the biggest monthly increase in prices all year.

“Several factors were responsible – the Conservative victory in the general election, finally giving them a mandate to get on with Brexit and lenders concentrating on year-end and offering cut-price deals.

“It also helped that buyers and sellers who have had enough of all the delays decided to just get on with their transactions.

“The signs are encouraging for 2020 with lenders keen to lend and plenty of money available to do so. It is a good time to be a borrower, less so a saver.”

The typical UK house price now stands at £238,963.