Industry reaction to the Halifax House Price Index

Commenting on the Halifax House Price Index, which shows that annual growth has hit highest levels since June 2016, Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “It’s now abundantly clear that the market has not only shrugged off any pandemic induced symptoms but has also well and truly waved goodbye to the prolonged uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“Of course, any knee-jerk restrictions imposed by the Government in the coming months could result in a case of one step forward, two steps back where price growth is concerned.

“It’s therefore imperative that we allow the industry to remain operational to service the overwhelming levels of buyer demand seen in recent months. Failing to do so could leave many buyers in lockdown limbo and cause house prices to plateau.”

Managing Director of Barrows and Forester, James Forrester, commented: “Yet further signs of a monumental market revival and one that continues to be fuelled by heightened levels of buyer demand. The questions is how much fuel is left in the tank?

“It’s very likely that we will see this strong level of growth sustained as we see out the remainder of the year. However, with the furloughs scheme coming to an end, this could be the final swan song before a period of muted market activity.

“The Government has played its hand in anticipation of this with the promise of 95% mortgages for those struggling to get on the ladder. However, even a 5% deposit may prove financially unviable for those struggling to find work.

“So while the outlook is certainly a bright one at present, there may well be dark clouds on the horizon. There’s no doubt the market can weather this storm, but its the duration and initial damage of that storm that remains to be seen.”

Managing Director of Enness Global Mortgages, Hugh Wade-Jones commented: “Homebuyers continue to take advantage of great mortgage rates where they can and this is allowing them to buy bigger and better with more space both indoors and out. Naturally, these homes command a higher price tag and this is helping to contribute to a much more buoyant rate of house price growth.

“This is certainly a trend that’s being led by the top end of the market and by those with the financial stability to transact on these larger homes at the drop of a hat.

“As this demand is met and starts to subside we will see these huge levels of top-line house price growth follow suit and a more ‘normal’ market landscape return.”