Sunday, 19 September 2021

UK house prices ‘slip’

UK house prices were down 0.2 per cent in May, with annual growth slowing to 2.4 per cent — compared with 2.6 per cent in April — according to figures from Nationwide.

The dip marks the third fall in house prices in the past quarter, with April recording a modest 0.1 per cent rise, giving an average UK house price of £213,618.

Elsewhere, the Halifax noted that UK home sales grew by one per cent to 99,590 in May.

But in the three months to May sales were 4.8 per cent lower than in the same three months a year earlier.

This weakness reflects the slowdown seen in mortgage approvals over the past year. Completed sales since December have held steady, averaging close to 99,000 per month. (Source: HMRC, seasonally-adjusted figures.)

Bank of England industry-wide figures show that the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases — a leading indicator of completed house sales — were 64,526 in May.

This was a 2.5 per cent month-on-month increase, ending the run of three consecutive monthly falls and was 2.1 per cent lower than May 2017. Approvals have been in a narrow range between 63,000 and 67,000 per month over the past five months; indicating that homes sales are unlikely to change significantly over the next few months. (Source: Bank of England, seasonally-adjusted figures.)

After falling for 26 months in succession, new instructions edged up in May. Furthermore, the average stock of homes for sale on estate agents’ books held broadly steady, albeit close to historic lows. On the demand side, new buyer enquiries fell again, although the pace of decline has slowed since the start of the year. (Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ monthly report.)

Property