Halifax: House prices up 0.6 per cent in May


UK house prices rose 0.6 per cent in May, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

The average house is now £213,472, according to the lender.

House prices in the three months to May were 1.4 per cent higher than in the previous quarter.

House prices in the year to May rose 9.2 per cent.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “Low interest rates, increasing employment and rising real earnings, continue to support housing demand. The strength of demand, combined with very low supply, is causing house prices to rise at a brisk pace in quarterly and annual terms.

“Increasing affordability issues, caused by a sustained period of higher-than-earnings house price growth, should curb housing demand and result in some slowdown in house price growth as the year progresses.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe says: “Whilst some may view rising house prices as something to cheer about, this relentless climb is actually bad news for aspiring homeowners across the country.

“The subsequent, consistent rises in the cost of property that these figures show are preventing many buyers from moving up the ladder, and potentially pricing out an entire generation of aspiring homeowners.”

Former RICS chairman and north London estate agent Jeremy Leaf says: “With the EU referendum looming on the near horizon it is probably a little early to make too broad a judgement on these figures. Once the vote is out of the way and the result is in, hopefully the market will settle down again very soon after.

“At the moment the uncertainty means people are holding off making decisions – who is going to decide to buy a property if they don’t know whether they are going to get that pay rise or even be laid off, depending on the outcome of the referendum?”