House prices rise to record high – but does it herald tough time ahead for first-time buyers?

House price rises could be a real problem for first-time buyers who are also likely to face increases in mortgage rates.

The warning has come after Halifax said house prices rose 0.8% last month, and by 4% annually, to stand at £225,109.

Halifax said the figure is a record high.

It is however considerably lower than a number other indices, including Rightmove which said that new asking prices in September averaged £310,000 – a gap of some £85,000.

Halifax bases its figures on its own mortgage approvals and its data does not include cash sales.

According to Halifax, the 0.8% rise in September followed a 1.5% increase in August.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said: “The annual rate of growth has picked up for the second consecutive month.

“The average house price is now £225,109 – the highest on record.

“House prices in the three months to September were 1.4% higher than in the previous quarter, the fastest quarterly increase since February.

“While the quarterly and annual rates of house price growth have improved, they are lower than at the start of the year.

“UK house prices continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of properties for sale and solid growth in full-time employment.

“However, increasing pressure on spending power and continuing affordability concerns may well dampen buyer demand.

“There has been recent speculation on the possibility of a rise in the Bank of England base rate. We do not anticipate this will have a significant effect on transaction volumes.”

Ishaan Malhi, CEO of online mortgage broker Trussle, said: “A double blow could be about to hit aspiring home owners.

“Not only have house prices started to creep up again across the country, but lenders have also begun to slowly increase their rates.

“If the Bank of England does raise the base rate in November as expected, buyers are going to be in for a particularly tough time.”

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