House prices in fourth consecutive rise

House prices have risen for four months in a row, as they increased by 1.3% in January, Halifax’s house price index has revealed.

It typically costs £291,000 to buy property in the UK, following an increase of more than £3,700 from the month before.

Verona Frankish, chief executive of Yopa, said: “Not only have we seen positive market movement with respect to the monthly rate of house price growth in recent months, but we’re now starting to see an improvement with respect to the annual picture and it’s this measure of health that suggests the market is firmly on the up. 

“Looking ahead, it’s likely that not only has the property market bottomed out with respect to the decline in house prices seen last year, but it’s also likely that interest rates have now peaked. 

“This combination of factors will enthuse both buyer and sellers in equal measure and as the year progresses, we expect further momentum to build.”

Northern Ireland is the fastest growing UK region, where prices have risen by 5.3% in the year to January, amounting to nearly £10,000.

Scotland and Wales both saw positive annual growth of 4%, followed by the North West (3.2%), Yorkshire and Humber (2.8%), North East (2.0%) and East Midlands (0.5%).

The South East fell the most last month when compared to other UK regions, with homes selling for an average £379,000 (-2.3%), a drop of nearly £9,000. 

London retains the top spot for the highest average house price across all the regions, at £529,500, albeit prices in the capital have declined by -0.4% on an annual basis. 

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank said: “After suffering the effects of 14 consecutive rate rises last year, house prices are getting stronger as multiple interest rate cuts are expected in 2024. 

“The number of new buyers registering and offers being submitted have increased since lenders dropped their prices last month, which suggests demand and activity levels will only get stronger, leading to a modest a single-digit price increase this year.”