Figures released by the Halifax show that house prices grew by 0.3 per cent in June and by 1.8 per cent annually, giving an average price of £225,654. In May annual growth stood at 1.9 per cent.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley says: “Activity levels… have softened compared with the final months of last year. Mortgage approvals have been in the low range of 63,000 to 67,000 since the start of the year, whilst home sales have remained flat so far… this is in contrast to the continuing strength of the UK jobs market with job creation still strong and pressure on household finances easing as real income growth edges up.”
Indeed, figures show that despite UK home sales growing by 1 per cent in May, in the three months to May sales were 4.8 per cent lower annually.
Former RICS chairman and North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf says: “Once again, we are seeing a market in subdued mode supported broadly for some time by low interest rates and unemployment, as well as more specifically by low stock… we have reached the limit of what many buyers can afford so this is not a correction, more a realignment of prices to reflect changes in circumstances and to address the potential standoff between buyer and seller.”
Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brain Murphy says: “The figures for the first half of 2018 suggest that the market is very much performing within expectations, so today’s data doesn’t give us any cause for concern.
Lack of choice seems to be the main issue in many conurbations, particularly in the ‘middle market’… However, don’t underestimate the impact of the World Cup on consumer sentiment – whilst there is likely to be a distinct lack of viewings booked in with estate agents tomorrow afternoon for example, the ‘feel good factor’ on the nation as a whole should Southgate’s men succeed could put a distinct, if not surprising, bounce into the property market’s step.”
Trussle chief executive Ishaan Malhi says that sluggish price rises and improving wages means that “first-time buyers will slowly see their prospects improve,” although he adds that, “according to our analysis of house prices and wage growth, is three times harder than it was when England lifted the World Cup in 1966.”