Helen Nugent

House prices, Lloyds, pensions and credit cards

If you’re still lamenting the fact that Christmas is over and you’re back at work, there’s some positive financial news this morning. According to Halifax, house prices increased by 6.5 per cent last month compared to December 2015. It seems that Brexit worries have yet to hit the UK housing market. Halifax also said that the average house price was £222,484 in December, up 1.7 per cent on November, a bigger rise than had been expected. For the final three months of 2016, house prices were 2.5 per cent in front. According to the BBC, Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, predicts that ‘while demand will wane this year, house prices will continue to be supported by a shortage of homes on the market’. He added: ‘Slower economic growth, pressure on employment and a squeeze on spending power, together with affordability constraints, are expected to reduce housing demand during 2017’. In other housing news, The Telegraph reports that soaring house price growth in commuter hotspots can pay for a season ticket in as little as eight days. New research by Zoopla shows that in Esher, Surrey, property rose in value by an average of 9.25 per cent last year, the equivalent of £256.66 per day. This would cover the cost of an annual season ticket into London worth £2,080 in just over eight days. Meanwhile, figures from the latest Landbay Rental Index, powered by MIAC, show that the average rent paid for a residential property in the UK outside London hit £750 in December, rising by 2.04 per cent over 2016. Rental payments now account for over half of the average take-home pay for people living outside the capital (£1,425).

Average rents across all property sizes grew by 2.13 per cent in England (excluding London), 1.42 per cent in Scotland and 1.43 per cent in Wales in 2016, rising to £755, £721 and £634 respectively by the end of the year.

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