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House prices up 5.2% in May: Halifax

House prices increased 5.2 per cent in the 12 months to May 2019, according to Halifax.

This resulted in the average house price being £237,837.

Month-on-month, the lender reports that average house prices grew 0.5 per cent, and on a quarterly basis by 2.5 per cent.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley points to high employment and low interest rates supplying stability to the mortgage market, both bigger factors than any political and economic uncertainty the UK is facing.

“This is supported by industry-wide figures which suggest no real change in the number of homes being sold month-on-month,” he adds.

“We expect the current trend of stability… to persist over the coming months, though clearly any downturn in the wider economy would be keenly felt in the housing market,” he concludes.

MT Finance director of property Tomer Aboody also has a positive perspective, saying that the housing market is showing signs of recovery and confidence.

He says: “Buyers have come to the conclusion that ‘enough is enough’, and the uncertain conditions which have been facing them could carry on for a while still, so that should not hold them back from getting on the ladder or moving up or down it.

“Fewer homes are on the market since sellers feel that they either do not have to sell when values are still down on 2016 or with the stamp duty levels being so high, they cannot afford the step up so are staying put for now. We do not see this changing anytime soon.”

Meanwhile, north London estate agent Jeremy Leaf comments: “Not just the country but the property market is in limbo. Uncertainty is outweighing job and wages growth as well as almost record low mortgage rates.

“No major correction has been seen or is expected and the market remains relatively resilient, but continuing lack of urgency means business is tough for all, other than those buyers and sellers prepared to take a more realistic approach to present realities.”

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