- Prices in the last three months of 2017 were 2.7% higher than in the same three months a year earlier although the annual change in December was lower than in November (3.9%)
- House prices in the final quarter (October-December) were 1.3% higher than in the previous quarter (July-September), down from 2.3% recorded in October and November
- On a monthly basis, prices also fell by 0.6% from November following a 0.3% increase in both October and November; this is the first fall since June 2017
- The average price of £225,021 at the end of the year is 2.4% higher than in January 2017 (£219,741)
Monthly UK home sales exceed 100,000 for the eleventh month in succession. Sales have remained above 100,000 in all months of 2017. In November they reached 104,200, the highest monthly level since March 2016. In the three months to November home sales were 7% higher than in the same period a year earlier. (Source: HMRC, seasonally-adjusted figures)
Mortgage approvals for house purchases remain flat. The number of mortgage approvals – a leading indicator of completed house sales – edged up by 0.4% m/m in November to 65,139. In the three months to November approvals were 2.1% down on the same period a year earlier. For the past twelve months mortgage approvals have been in the narrow range of 64,900 to 69,500. (Source: Bank of England, seasonally-adjusted figures)
Decline in instructions for sale. New buyer enquiries appeared a little more stable over the month having declined sharply in autumn, this measure, however, has now fallen for the last eight months. Turning to supply, new instructions to sell continued to deteriorate at the headline level and has now fallen for 22 consecutive months – the worst sequence for close to eight years. (Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) monthly report)
In 2018 we expect house prices trends to be similar to 2017. Overall, we expect annual house price growth nationally to stay low and in the range of 0-3% by the end of 2018. The main driver of this forecast is the continuing effects of the squeeze on spending power as inflation has outstripped wage growth and the uncertainty regarding the prospects for the UK economy next year.