UK house prices hold steady despite monthly dip

UK house prices hold steady despite monthly dip

9:22 AM, 7th June 2024, About a month ago 1

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UK house prices showed little change in May compared to the previous month, dipping by just 0.1%, Halifax reports.

However, on an annual basis, house prices continued their upward trend, growing by 1.5% from April’s 1.1% increase.

The average UK property now costs £288,688, which is a slight drop from April’s £288,862.

Market activity remained resilient

Amanda Bryden, the head of mortgages at Halifax, said: “Market activity remained resilient throughout the spring months, supported by strong nominal wage growth and some evidence of an improvement in confidence about the economic outlook.

“This has been reflected in a broadly stable picture in terms of property price movements, with the average cost of a property little changed over the last three months.

“A period of relative stability in both house prices and interest rates should give a degree of confidence to both buyers and sellers.”

She added: “While homebuyers and those remortgaging will continue to respond to changes in borrowing costs, set against a backdrop of a limited supply of available properties, the market is unlikely to see huge fluctuations in the near term.”

North West is the strongest performer

Regionally, the North West emerged as the strongest performer with a house price increase of 3.8% year-on-year and the average property price there is £232,258.

Northern Ireland also displayed robust annual growth of 3.2% in May, though slightly down from April’s 3.3%.

Scotland followed suit with a 1.9% annual increase, bringing the typical property price to £204,952.

Wales saw a more modest annual rise of 0.7% to £219,483, the data shows.

Eastern England experienced the steepest decline

Halifax reveals that eastern England experienced the steepest decline in annual house price growth as prices dropped by 0.8% compared to May 2023.

The average property price in the region now sits at £329,853.

London retained its title as the most expensive region, with the average price tag reaching £536,821, a marginal increase of 0.2% from last year.

Election campaign moves into the property market

Sarah Coles, the head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The election campaign has moved into the property market, and started blowing the dust off housing policies.

“The Conservatives focused on council tax and stamp duty.

“Meanwhile, the Labour proposals are designed to support first-time buyers, and these figures show just how much of a struggle these buyers have right now.”

She adds: “Property prices haven’t moved much over the past three months, and the average house price is now £288,688.

“This is a testament to the dedication of buyers, given the fact that house prices remain high, mortgage rates are rising, and there has been a rush of new properties onto the market.”

Housing market is moving in the right direction

Nathan Emerson, the chief executive at Propertymark, said: “The housing market seems to be generally moving in the right direction, with house prices going up annually from this time last year.

“With a general election now on the horizon, there may be potential caution from buyers and sellers, especially those hoping to step onto the housing ladder for the first time, as they await any announcements regarding government support.

“People will also be carefully awaiting the Bank of England’s next announcement this month.”

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11:27 AM, 7th June 2024, About a month ago

Contrary to this report, I believe mortgage rates are improving. It's unlikely the BoE will change rates this month as that will be considered to be meddling in the general election

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