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House prices up 5 per cent year-on-year: Halifax

House prices in the three months to April were 5 per cent higher than in the same three months last year and 4.2 per cent higher than in the preceding three months, according to Halifax.

The Halifax house price index for April also showed that on a monthly basis, house prices rose by 1.1 per cent, versus a fall of 1.3 per cent in March. The average UK house price now stands at £236,619.

Halifax says the sharp 5 per cent rise in April’s annual change figure comes against the backdrop of a particularly low growth rate over the corresponding period in 2018, impacting year-on-year comparisons. This also factors in a notably high growth figure recorded in February this year, driven by a higher volume of London sales and more expensive new build properties.

MT Finance director Tomer Aboody says: “These numbers are encouraging, reflecting that people are now coming to the conclusion that whatever will be will be with Brexit and they just want to get on with things. There is a positive attitude out there from estate agents to valuers to lenders – everyone is busier with transactions, just as you would expect for this time of year.

“Those people who have been looking to buy for a while are now realising that the opportunity to move now is as good as any.  Mortgage rates are extremely low and interest rates are unlikely to rise anytime soon, even though Mark Carney has been warning that it could happen in the future.”

Housesimple chief executive officer Sam Mitchell points out that house prices have trended up one month and down the following month since last September.

He says: “This bumpy ride is symptomatic of a property market that continues to be held back by low stock levels and ongoing uncertainty around Brexit which is making buyers hesitant to commit.

“Looking at the next few months, with the Brexit deadline extended until 31 October, we could well see a late Spring bounce, as sellers and buyers take advantage of this window of opportunity while there is less political turmoil swirling around, to progress a sale or purchase.”

Garrington Property Finders managing director Jonathan Hopper says: “Better late than never – the property market has dusted itself off and delivered a decent spring bounce.

“All three measures of the Halifax’s measures of price growth are marching upwards, but most impressive of all is the surge in the year-on-year figure, back to a level undreamt of in 2018.

“Price rises are being powered by the combination of weak supply and strengthening buyer resolve. In many regions, buyers are few in number but committed – and as a consequence prices are nudging up where buyers detect real value.

“On the front line we’re seeing buyers be competitive but cautious – wary of overpaying but willing to fight hard when they find what they’re looking for amid the limited stock available.”


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