iM Mortgages

Halifax numbers further proof of resilient UK market

In December, the cost of an average UK home rose for the third month in a row to £287,105, up 1.1% or £3,066, in November, reaching the highest level since March 2023.

This is according to the lates Halifax House Price Index which also shows that the housing market beat expectations in 2023 and grew by 1.7% on an annual basis. The average property price is now £4,800 higher than it was in December 2022.

Whilst the UK market has seen growth in the last three months of the year, this was preceded with property price falls for six consecutive months between April and September.

Across all the UK regions, Northern Ireland recorded the strongest house price growth in 2023, properties here increased by 4.1% to £192,153. Scotland saw property prices increase by 2.6% to £205,170. At the other end of the scale, the South East fell most sharply, houses here now average £376,804 (4.5%), a drop of –£17,755.


Commenting on the latest figures, Foxtons chief executive Guy Gittins said: “The latest figures provide further proof that despite a tough year, the UK property market has seen 2023 out on the front foot, recording a third consecutive monthly increase in the rate of house price growth and finishing the year with positive annual growth”.

He added: “This growing positivity has no doubt been bolstered by the resulting stability of a freeze on interest rates and the market is now poised for what we expect to be a much better year.”

Yopa chief executive Verona Frankish said she was encouraged by the trends evident in the latest data

“While monthly house price growth is widely considered too erratic a measure to demonstrate improving market health, there’s now no doubt that the market is heading in the right direction.

“Not only have house prices climbed for three consecutive months, but both the quarterly and annual rates of growth have also increased despite an extremely testing year for the market.

She added: “With rates currently frozen and expected to fall, we simply don’t anticipate the market to decline in 2024 having already weathered the worst of the storm.

Benham and Reeves director Marc von Grundherr suggested a clean sweep of positive house price growth in December could be considered somewhat of a Christmas miracle given the turbulent year 2023 turned out to be.


“However, those of us on the front lines have been observing a growing level of market momentum for some months now and so it was always a question of when, not if, this started to boost market health where house price growth is concerned.

The property market has once again demonstrated its resilience in the face of economic uncertainty and while challenges still remain, you’d be ill-advised to predict a fall in property values over the coming year just a few short days into January.”

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024, Quilter mortgage expert Karen Noye expects the housing market turmoil seen over the past couple of years to dissipate further.

“Many lenders have been reducing their mortgage rates as swap rates have lowered, and lower transaction levels have prompted a healthy competition between lenders vying for business. This could lure prospective buyers back to the market and further prop up house prices. Figures from the Bank of England released just yesterday echo this, as net mortgage approvals for house purchases rose from 47,900 in October to 50,100 in November showing demand is making a slow return to the market”.


MT Finance managing director Gareth Lewis is heartened by the fact that towards the end of 2023 confidence and stability has started to return to the market. However he warns: “We must be mindful that we are yet to feel the wider distress that is expected as homeowners roll off low fixed rates into a higher interest rate environment”.

“Higher distressed sells could see house prices soften through 2024 but there is still pent-up demand from consumers looking to purchase combined with low levels of stock, which could provide a stabilising impact.”

Source : Mortgage Strategy – Date: 5th January 2024 – By: David Burrows