The UK property market is holding up

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The UK property market is holding up

According to figures recently released, the UK market is holding up better than many predicted.

As 2023 draws to a close, house prices are proving resilient, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index and property portal Zoopla.

Kim Kinnaird, director, Halifax Mortgages, says: “UK house prices rose for the second month in a row, up by +0.5 per cent in November or £1,394 in cash terms, with the average house price now sitting at £283,615.

“Over the last year, despite the wider economic headwinds, property prices have held up better than expected, falling by a relatively modest -1 per cent on an annual basis, and still some £40,000 above pre-pandemic levels.

“The resilience seen in house prices during 2023 continues to be underpinned by a shortage of properties available, rather than any significant strengthening of buyer demand.

“That said, recent figures for mortgage approvals suggest a slight uptick in activity levels, which is likely as a result of an improving picture on affordability for homebuyers.

“With mortgage rates starting to ease slightly, this may be leading to increased buyer confidence, seeing people more inclined to push ahead with their home purchases.

However, she continued, the economic conditions remain uncertain, making it hard to assess the extent to which market activity will be maintained.

“Other pressures – like inflation, the broader cost of living, overall employment rates and affordability – mean we expect to see downward pressure on house prices into next year,” she adds.

Zoopla’s figures show house prices falling 1.2 per cent across the UK and one million homes sold in 2023.

They also revealed some 432,000 rental homes were let to new tenants.

According to Zoopla: “The most popular type of homes sold were terraced houses, with 140,000 mid and end-of-terrace homes snapped up by buyers.

“Terraced homes were hotly followed by semi-detached properties, with 130,000 going under offer.

“Both of these styles of home typically have three bedrooms, proving that three-bedroom houses remain the most popular property type among buyers.

“Apartments were the third most popular type of property to sell, with 120,000 sold this year, followed by detached homes with 89,000 snapped up.”