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The housing market appears to be on the up, following a slump last year, and many lenders have begun cutting their mortgage rates.
House prices have risen for the third month in a row, according to new figures from Halifax.
The bank said the average cost of a UK home was £287,105 in December. The figure is up 1.1% from the month before and is also the highest level since March 2023.
Halifax’s director of mortgages, Kim Kinnaird, said the market also beat expectations in 2023, growing by 1.7% on an annual basis.
It comes after several high street names reduced their rates earlier this week, with experts predicting other lenders will soon follow suit.
Imogen Pattison, an assistant economist at Capital Economics, said Halifax’s figures “confirm that falls in mortgage rates are translating into renewed increases in house prices”, with rises expected to continue in the first quarter.
She added year-on-year house price growth could increase by 3% in the third quarter.
Alice Haine, an analyst at Bestinvest, said: “While house buying activity was sluggish in the second half of 2023 as many movers put their buying and selling plans on pause while they waited for conditions to improve, the new year has delivered fresh optimism for the year ahead.
“With inflation on the retreat and mortgage rates on the decline from their summer 2023 highs amid hopes the Bank of England (BoE) will push ahead with rate cuts this year, confidence appears to have returned to the market.”
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