Halifax: House price growth slows in August

The rate of house price inflation dipped slightly in August, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

Figures show the average UK house price reached £186,270, 9.7 per cent higher than the £170,224 average recorded in August 2013.

This compares with 10.2 per cent annual growth reported in July.

With minimal wage inflation in the same period, affordability continues to slip with an average price to earnings ratio of 5.01 in August, compared with a ratio of 4.62 at the same point a year earlier.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “There are some signs of an improvement in housing supply, both in terms of more second-hand properties coming onto the market and increased numbers of new homes.

“These trends, if sustained, should help to improve the balance between supply and demand, contributing to an easing in the pace of house growth.”

SPF Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “The combination of more property coming up for sale and the prospect of an interest rate rise at some point in the future is applying the brakes to the runaway market.

“However, with a number of lenders reducing their two- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages in the past couple of weeks there are still some excellent deals available for buyers who are concerned about rate rises and want to lock in. Assuming you can meet stricter lending criteria, it could be a great opportunity.”