On a monthly basis, house prices in January were 0.3% lower than in December according to figures out today from the Halifax building society.
In the latest quarter (November to January) house prices were 1.6% higher than in the preceding three months (August to October) while house prices were 5.4% higher than in January 2020.
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said:
“The average UK house price slipped by -0.3% in January, the biggest monthly fall since April last year. Whilst this pushed the typical property value down to its lowest level since October, at just under £252,000, prices are around £13,000 higher than a year ago.
“There are some early signs that the upturn in the housing market could be running out of steam, with the annual rate of house price inflation cooling to its lowest level since August. Industry figures for agreed sales remain well above pre-pandemic levels but new instructions to sell have decreased noticeably, and total stock held by estate agents has
risen to its highest level since before the EU referendum in 2016.
“The stamp duty holiday has undoubtedly helped to fuel growing demand amongst households for larger properties.However, given the current time to completion across the market, transactions in the early part of 2021 probably don’t include many borrowers who expect to benefit from the stamp duty reprieve.
“How far and how deep any slowdown proves to be is a challenge to predict given the prevailing uncertainty created by the pandemic. With swathes of the economy still shuttered, and joblessness continuing to edge higher, on the surface this points to slower market activity and downward price pressures in the near-term.
“That said, we saw the power of homeowners to drive the market in the second half of last year as many people looked to find new properties with greater space, spurred on by increased time spent at home. Such structural demand changes, coupled with any further policy interventions by government, could yet sustain underlying market
activity for some time to come.”