House prices unexpectedly increased last month as sellers took a “cautious attitude” rather than offloading at lower prices.
Property values rose by 1.1pc in October compared to September, breaking a cycle of six consecutive monthly falls, according to the Halifax house price index.
It means a typical home is worth £281,974, up around £3,000 on the previous month, although on an annual basis, prices were down 3.2pc compared to October last year.
Kim Kinnaird, director at Halifax Mortgages, said: “Prospective sellers appear to be taking a cautious attitude, leading to a low supply of homes for sale.”
The increase comes after the Bank of England opted to hold interest rates steady at 5.25pc in a boost to mortgage borrowers.
Purplebricks chief executive Sam Mitchell said: “The Bank of England held its nerve on interest rates, an extremely positive decision for the housing market, which has caused an uptick in demand for the last week of September and through October, and with a second hold this month we expect the trend to continue.”
Last week, separate data from Nationwide also indicated that house prices made a surprise lurch upwards last month.
It said prices in October were up 0.9pc compared with September as sellers decided to bide their time rather than sell at lower prices.
As house prices rebounded in October, Halifax Mortgages director Kim Kinnaird added that the house prices were “likely to have strengthened” in the short-term, while buyer demand “remains weak overall”. She said:
While many people will have seen their income grow through wage rises, higher interest rates and wider affordability pressures continue to be challenges for buyers.
Across the medium-term, with financial markets not anticipating a decline in the Bank of England’s Base Rate soon, we expect house prices to fall further overall – with a return to growth from 2025.
The current picture should continue to be seen in the context of the longer-term house price trend as, on average, prices remain around £40,000 above pre-pandemic levels.