Wednesday, 16 October 2019

House prices ‘holding steady’

House prices ‘holding steady’

HOUSE prices are continuing to hold steady despite the ongoing political turmoil over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

According to the Halifax house price index, the average UK house price is currently £233,541.

In the latest quarter (June to August) house prices were 0.1 per cent higher than in the preceding three months (March to May). House prices in August were 1.8 per cent higher than in the same month a year earlier.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “There was no real shift in house prices in August as the average property value grew by just 0.3 per cent month on month.

“This further extends the predominantly flat trend we’ve seen over the last six months, with the average house price having barely changed since March.

“While ongoing economic uncertainty continues to weigh on consumer sentiment — with evidence of both buyers and sellers exercising some caution — a number of important underlying factors such as affordability and employment remain strong.

“Although the housing market will undoubtedly be influenced by events in the wider economy, it continues to show a degree of resilience for the time being.

“We should also not lose sight of the fact that the single biggest driver of both prices and activity over the longer-term remains the dearth of available properties to meet demand from buyers.”

HMRC Monthly data shows UK home sales reducing. July saw 86,630 home sales. Year-on-year, UK seasonally adjusted residential transactions in July 2019 were approximately 12.4 per cent lower than in July 2018 (11 per cent lower on a non-seasonally adjusted basis).

Meanwhile, mortgage approvals have risen slightly. Bank of England figures show that the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases were 67,306 in July — this represents a 1.2 per cent rise from June and the metric is at its highest level since July 2017.

The latest set of results (July 2019) for the RICS Residential Market Survey have shown the second consecutive increase in new buyer enquiries with a net balance of +8 per cent (+10 per cent in June).

Despite the modest improvement in demand, newly agreed sales edged down to a net balance of
-6 per cent (from +3 per cent in June). The sales to stock ratio increased slightly to 31.2 per cent.


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