LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices showed their biggest annual rise since June 2016 last month, as people sought to move into bigger houses following the COVID lockdown earlier this year, mortgage lender Halifax said on Monday.
House prices in November were 7.6% higher than a year earlier, a slightly faster increase than October’s 7.5% annual rise and the biggest increase since June 2016, just before Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Halifax said it did not expect the recent pace of price increases to last as the economic outlook was likely to remain challenging, even with the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines.
“With unemployment predicted to peak around the middle of next year, and the UK’s economy not expected to fully recover the ground lost over 2020 for a number of years, a slowdown in housing market activity is likely over the next 12 months,” Halifax managing director Russell Galley said.
Halifax said house prices rose by 1.2% in November alone, compared with a 0.9% increase in October, and that they had risen by 6.5% over the past five months, the most since 2004.
The Bank of England said last week that lenders approved the greatest number of mortgages in 13 years in October, and another mortgage lender, Nationwide, reported the biggest rise in prices in nearly six years at 6.5% for November.
(Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Michael Holden and Toby Chopra)