House prices rise more than expected in July - Halifax

Lloyd Doyle
August 9, 2018

House prices gathered pace in July with annual growth up 3.3pc, the biggest increase in nine months, mortgage lender Halifax said on Tuesday - despite warning of a softness in the market.

Halifax also pointed to a "robust" labour market, notably the recent increases in people in full-time employment. Despite the recent modest improvement in mortgage approvals, the latest survey data for new buyer enquiries and agreed sales suggest that approvals will remain broadly flat until the end of the year.

United Kingdom home sales fell by 3 per cent in June, with the figure for the three months to June unchanged compared to the previous quarter, Halifax said.

Despite the rises, Halifax said housing activity remained "soft".

House prices grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in July, faster than the 0.9 percent rise in June.

House prices rose at their fastest rate since November last month as rising wages helped to alleviate the pressure on household budgets.

Galley's figures follow those from the Nationwide, released last week, which showed a more modest 0.6 per cent monthly rise and 2.5 per cent annual increase. The Bank of England's recent base rate increase was already largely priced into mortgage interest rates, and is unlikely to dampen the market significantly'.

"A lack of housing continues to challenge many would-be buyers". It is nearly as if the north/south divide is working in reverse with more activity outside rather than inside the capital.

"That tussle continues, even if the last two months have seen increases in both the number of mortgage approvals and the number of homes coming onto the market".

Foundation Home Loans marketing director Jeff Knight says: "With the Bank of England's decision to raise interest rates for only the second time in a decade, households feeling the pinch may be concerned that this could be the beginning of a new era". Viewings are up but it is hard to obtain commitment as political and economic uncertainty remain. "Prices are up annually and while a slightly tired market hasn't narrowed the unaffordability gap over the a year ago or two, it has at least stalled it from widening somewhat" he says.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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