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Halifax reports 5.7% UK house price growth

UK house prices shot up 5.7 per cent in the year to June, according to Halifax’s latest figures.

The lender’s report also details a month-on-month drop for the first time since April, with the average property price declining by 0.3 per cent.

This movement leaves the average house price across the UK at £237,110.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley believes the housing market is displaying resilience in the face of political and economic uncertainty.

Galley says: “Recent industry figures show demand looking slightly more stable, with mortgage approvals ticking along just above the long-term average.

“One of the major restraining factors on the volume of transactions in the market continues to be the very low level of stock for sale.

“With the ongoing lack of clarity around Brexit, people will be looking for more certainty in the coming months, both to encourage them to list their property and to create the confidence needed to encourage buyers.”

However, some commentators believe that the figures may not give the most accurate picture. Yopa chief property analyst Mike Scott, for example, says: ”

The Halifax HPI… is still out of line with most other measures of house prices… this may in part be due to the Halifax understating the rate of growth in the second quarter of last year, leaving it with some catching up to do, but there is a big difference between that 5.7 per cent figure and the 0.5 per cent annual rate of growth for June that was reported by the Nationwide last week, or the 1.4 per cent reported by the official government index for the year to April.

We expect that the Halifax figure for the annual rate of house price growth will remain significantly higher than other reports until the second quarter of next year, when it will return to normal,” continues Scott.

“The monthly and quarterly figures are more reliable.”

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf says that the data showing a monthly dip in values is likely to put off buyers making a commitment.

He says the data “paints a confusing picture with the annual house price increase actually greater than it was last month, while comparative figures from 12 months ago are also unreliable.”

Leaf adds that he believes to achieve an accurate representation of the market one needs to “look at what is happening on the ground.”

He continues: “We are finding that some buyers, including some investors, are looking beyond Brexit and political uncertainty and are prepared to go ahead if they can perceive value. Sellers please note.”

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