According to the Halifax House Price Index, UK house prices in the three months to December were 6.5% higher than in the same three months of 2015.Prices in the last three months (OctoberDecember) were 2.5% higher than in the preceding quarter.

Mortgage approvals were 6% higher in the three months to November compared with the preceding three months. The average house price in the Bedfordshire town was 19.4% higher than in the previous year, increasing from £214,934 to £256,636 in 2016.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said:

“House prices finished 2016 strongly. Prices in the final quarter of the year were 2.5% higher than in the previous quarter. The annual rate of growth increased, rising for the second consecutive month, from 6.0% in November to 6.5%.

“Slower economic growth, pressure on employment and a squeeze on spending power, together with affordability constraints, are expected to reduce housing demand during 2017.UK house prices should, however, continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of property for sale, low levels of house building, and exceptionally low interest rates. Overall, annual house price growth nationally is most likely expected to slow to 1-4% by the end of 2017. The relatively wide range for the forecast reflects the higher than normal degree of uncertainty regarding the prospects for the UK economy this year.”

Source: Halifax