UK houses prices see largest annual rise since January 2017

British house prices increased at the fastest annual rate since the beginning of 2017, according to data provided by the mortgage lender Halifax.

The average house price in the UK edged higher in May to £237,837, up 0.5%, according to Halifax’s House Price Index.

UK house prices in the three months to May climbed 5.2% higher than over the same period a year prior – representing the fastest annual rate rise since January 2017.

‘We saw a slight increase in house prices between April and May, but the overall message is one of stability,’ Halifax Managing Director Russell Galley said.

UK housing market slows in wake of Brexit

Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, the UK housing market has slowed significantly, with declines in house prices in London and neighbouring areas, driven by uncertainty and increases in purchase taxes on homes over £1 million.

‘Despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty, underlying conditions in the broader economy continue to underpin the housing market, particularly the twin factors of high employment and low interest rates,’ Galley said.

New mortgage approvals up 6% in April

Mortgage approvals moved back above the 12-month and 5-year averages, with Bank of England figures showing that the number of mortgages approved increased by 5.9% in April to 66,261.

‘While current conditions may help those looking to make their first move onto the property ladder, existing homeowners will doubtless be considering long-term house price growth which continues to look subdued in comparison to recent years,’ Galley said.

‘Looking ahead, we expect the current trend of stability based on high employment and low interest rates to persist over the coming months, though clearly any downturn in the wider economy would be keenly felt in the housing market,’ he added.


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