House prices continue to rise, says Halifax

Wooden housing stock

House prices rose by 9.5% in the three months to December compared to the same period the previous year.

The average UK house price was £208,286 in December 2015 compared to £189,428 in December 2014.

According to Halifax’s latest House Price Index, average prices rose on a year to year basis by 8%-10% in nearly every three month period in 2015.

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The data also reveals prices rose by 1.6% on a quarterly basis between October and December 2015 compared to the preceding three months.

Month-on-month, prices increased by 1.7% between November and December.

The London borough of Newham recorded the biggest rise in house prices among major UK towns and cities over 2015, increasing by 22% from £261,399 to £319,522 compared to the previous year - nearly double the 12% increase in London as a whole.

Prices likely to continue rising

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported in December that house price rises could be explained by a shortage of homes for sale and rising demand – see the Moneywise news story.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, says this shortage could continue to push prices up. He explains: “There remains a substantial gap between demand and supply with the latest figures showing a further decline in the number of properties available for sale.

“This situation is unlikely to change significantly in the short-term, resulting in continuing upward pressure on prices.”