Sunday, 07 August 2022

Prices still rising but rate may be slowing

HOUSE prices continued to increase in May but there were also signs of the market cooling, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “The average cost of buying a home in the UK was up one per cent, or £2,857, on the previous month, and has now risen for 11 consecutive months.

“Annual growth also remains in double digits, at 10.5 per cent, although this is the slowest rate of growth seen since the start of the year. The average cost to buy a home is now £289,099, another record high.

“Despite the very real cost of living pressures some people are experiencing, the imbalance between supply and demand for properties remains the primary reason driving the continued climb in prices.

“For house-hunters, the extent of the impact of property price inflation continues to be linked to the type of home they are looking to buy. Compared to May last year, you’d need around £10,000 more to buy a flat but an additional £50,000 for a detached home.

“This clearly creates a knock-on effect for those looking to make their first home move as the rungs on the housing ladder have become wider.

“However, the housing market has begun to show signs of cooling. Mortgage activity has started to come down and, coupled with the inflationary pressures on household budgets, it’s likely activity will start to slow.

“So there is perhaps one green shoot for prospective purchasers. With overall buying demand down compared to last year, we may be past the peak sellers’ market.”

Over the past decade, the cost of a home has risen by 74 per cent, or £123,016. The strongest inflation has been in London at 84.2 per cent.

In cash terms, London house-hunters need £247,638 more than those looking to buy 10 years ago, whereas people in the East of England need £153,930 and in the East Midlands £108,116.

Overall, nine regions registered double-digit annual inflation with only Yorkshire and the Humber, Scotland and London in single figures.

The relative under-performance, compared to the national average, of London in 2022 is in stark contrast to 10 years ago when the capital was performing better than anywhere else with an annual house price inflation of four per cent.


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