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Industry experts predict annual house price growth to slow through 2017

According to a leading lender, house prices increased by just 5.7% in January, compared to a rise of 6.5% in the same month in 2016. The average price of a UK home now stands at £220,260.

The report produced by Halifax states that price growth is starting to slow and is now well below the 10% peak experienced last March. It found that property prices actually dropped by 0.9% in January compared with the previous month. Halifax have attributed this slow in growth to a number of factors including; weaker economic growth, increasing pressure on spending power and affordability constraints. However, on a positive note the report showed that the number of first time buyers rose to 335,750 in 2016, an increase of 7%.

This report was released on the same day that the government unveiled their latest white paper on the wider housing strategy for the UK. In it the government highlighted that at least 250,000 new homes are needed each year to keep up with demand. As a result, it has promise to help people more easily buy and rent property by building more affordable homes and allowing councils to actively encourage developers to build on land they own.

Family-friendly renting was also a major theme with a focus on longer tenancies.

Mr Javid set out the details of the housing White Paper in a statement to MPs, with measures including:

  • Forcing councils to produce an up-to-date plan for housing demand
  • Expecting developers to avoid "low-density" housing where land availability is short
  • Encouraging the extension of buildings upwards in urban areas
  • Reducing the time allowed between planning permission and the start of building from three to two years
  • Using a £3bn fund to help smaller building firms challenge major developers, including support for off-site construction, where parts of buildings are assembled in a factory
  • A "lifetime ISA" to help first-time buyers save for a deposit
  • Maintaining protection for the green belt, which can only be built on "in exceptional circumstances"
  • Introducing banning orders "to remove the worst landlords or agents from operating"
  • Banning letting agents' fees
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