House prices slightly increased last month, and prices have been stable in the past three months. They remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

House prices went up slightly in February, according to Halifax. The lender has just published its latest House Price Index, which has revealed that prices increased by 1.1% in February, compared to 0.2% in January and -1.3% in December.

The average house price in February was £285,476, up 2.1% from this time last year. Halifax says prices have been ‘stable’ over the last three months.

‘When comparing to January, there was a 1.1% increase in house prices through the month of February, although overall prices are flat compared to three months ago,’ says Kim Kinnaird, Director, Halifax Mortgages.

Stabilising house prices

‘Recent reductions in mortgage rates, improving consumer confidence and a continuing resilience in the labour market are arguably helping to stabilise prices following the falls seen in November and December,’ adds Kinnaird. ‘Still, with the cost of a home down on a quarterly basis, the underlying activity continues to indicate a downward market trend.’

Halifax says that prices are down by £8500 in cash terms compared to the August peak but remain almost £9000 above the average prices seen at the start of 2022. They are still above pre-pandemic levels so that most sellers will retain price gains made during the pandemic.

Growth slowed

Annual price growth slowed in all nations and regions in February, says Halifax. In the North East, growth slowed to 1.1% in February compared to a 3.6% rise in January. The average home in the North East now costs £163,953.

In London, the average house price is now £526,842, down by over 0.9% in the last year. This could be due to the large proportion of flats in the capital. Prices for flats have stagnated.

Prices of flats are now into negative territory over the past 12 months at -0.3%, while prices for terraced homes have stagnated with an increase of 0.3%. Detached houses have increased in value by 1.5% in the year.

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