Lender says market rebalancing after years of growth, as mortgage rates and cost of living push prices down
Rising mortgage costs and the broader cost of living crisis will push house prices down by about 8% next year, according to a forecast by the lender Halifax.
Halifax, which in November reported the largest monthly fall in house prices in 14 years, said the market was now rebalancing after years of conditions that have resulted in some of the biggest rises in house prices ever recorded.
The coronavirus pandemic also fuelled a mini housing boom as flexible and home working led to an increase in sales of larger properties in more rural and idyllic settings.
“Following such rapid house price growth, and the growing economic headwinds, a slowdown was almost inevitable,” said Andrew Asaam, a homes director at Halifax. “As the increasing cost of living puts more pressure on household finances and rising interest rates impact customers’ monthly mortgage payments, there’s understandably more caution among both buyers and sellers, which has seen demand soften as people take stock.”
On Thursday the Bank of England raised interest rates to 3.5%, the highest level in 14 years and its ninth rise in a row, a day after the rate of annual inflation eased slightly to 10.7%. Unemployment is also expected to rise to about 5.5%.
Halifax said that between the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and August this year the average UK house price had increased by £55,000, almost 23%, to a record high of £293,992.
The bank said the 8% drop forecast for next year equated to the value of a typical UK house in April last year, meaning homeowners would not see