Monthly house price report confusion

by Neil Patterson

9:35 AM, 8th June 2018
About 4 months ago

Monthly house price report confusion

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Monthly house price report confusion

Every month I read enough conflicting reports on house prices to make your head spin. Some up, some down, some the lowest since and some the highest since etc etc.

The housing market cannot be defined or predicted by one month’s set of figures from various reports that calculate the statistics in vastly different ways.

From my Banking and Building Society days the defacto reference used by most lenders was the Halifax Price index and in fact many lenders at lower Loan to Values often relied on desk top valuations based on the Halifax price index to underwrite and assess the security on mortgages.

Therefore, I will try and stick to this index as the reference base point and show the longer term trends along with the latest monthly figures.

Please see the graph of house prices for the last year below:

 

For the month of May house price growth softened to 1.9%

The report said:

  • House prices in the three months to May were 1.9% higher than the same period a year earlier; experiencing slower growth than the 2.2% annual growth in April and 0.2% higher than in the preceding three months (December-February 2018)
  • On a monthly basis, prices rose by 1.5% in May, partially reversing the 3.1% monthly decline in April.
  • The average house price is now £224,439

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said:

“House prices grew by 1.5% on a monthly basis, in contrast to a decline seen in April. The month
on month figures are more volatile than the quarterly or annual measures. In the three months to May house prices were 0.2% higher than the previous quarter and on an annual basis they are 1.9% higher. Both of these measures have fallen since reaching a recent peak, in the final months of last year.

“These latest price changes reflect a relatively subdued UK housing market. After a sharp rise in January, mortgage approvals have softened in the past three months, whilst both newly agreed sales and new buyer enquiries are showing signs of stabilisation having fallen in recent months.

“The continuing strength of the labour market is supporting house prices. In the three months to March the number of full-time employees increased by 202,000, the biggest rise in three years. We are also seeing pay growth edging up and consumer price inflation falling, and as a result the squeeze on real earnings has started to ease. With interest rates still very low we see mortgage affordability at very manageable levels providing a further underpinning to prices.”



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