Halifax chief: house prices to rise by 6 per cent in 2014

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HOUSE PRICES in Yorkshire will increase by up to six per cent this year as the housing market recovery spreads from London to the rest of the UK, the managing director of the Halifax has said.

David Nicholson said the region’s housing market is “definitely returning to a good level of health”, adding to consumer confidence in Yorkshire.

With 22 per cent of the mortgage market, Lloyds has a deep insight into current levels of activity.

Mr Nicholson said: “There has been a lot of concern about the London market in particular being the only one that’s going to grow under the Help to Buy scheme.

“That’s absolutely not the case. We are seeing good growth on house prices in all regions now.”

The banker said London prices have been driven by cash buyers rather than mortgage lending and he expects growth in the capital to start to level out with other regions beginning to increase at a higher relative rate.

In Yorkshire, he said prices are increasing across all postal sectors by above three per cent year on year and he expects this to increase to nearer six per cent.

At the start of the year, the Halifax predicted that UK house prices would rise on average between four and eight per cent in 2014.

Mr Nicholson said the Halifax’s new mortgage lending is up 30 per cent year on year, while the mortgage market as a whole has seen a percentage increase in the mid teens.

He added: “After a long, tough period for the UK as a whole... we are now in a position where companies are starting to invest, where unemployment rates are continuing to fall, that’s leading to more consumer activity and GDP growing and I think it bodes well at both a national level and for Yorkshire.”

The Halifax is a major player in the UK housing market with a mortgage book worth £135bn.

“We are growing the book,” said Mr Nicholson. “We expect to see three per cent growth.”

The Halifax employs 6,000 people in Yorkshire. Lloyds as a whole employs 12,000 people in the region. It is nearly 25 per cent owned by the taxpayer.

Mr Nicholson started his career at the Leeds Permanent Building Society.

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