House prices up 10.6% annually


House prices in the first three months of 2016 were 10.1 per cent up year-on-year, says Halifax.

The average price during the first quarter was £214,811, which was up 2.6 per cent on the previous month and 2.9 per cent on the previous quarter.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “Worsening sentiment regarding the prospects for the UK economy and uncertainty ahead of the European referendum in June could result in some softening in the housing market over the next couple of months.

“Current market conditions, however, remain very tight with an acute supply/demand imbalance continuing despite an improvement in the number of properties coming on to the market for sale in recent months. This, together with continuing low interest rates and a healthy labour market, indicate that house price growth is set to remain robust.”

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “Continued low mortgage rates and the easing of criteria by a number of lenders are attracting buyers who remain confident that interest rates are not going to rise anytime soon.

“However, affordability remains an issue for some, and with Virgin Money reducing its maximum income multiples this week, it certainly isn’t a free-for-all on the lending front. Good advice remans an absolute must for buyers if they want to secure the borrowing they require.”