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House price growth continues to slow

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Written by: John Fitzsimons
07/06/2017
Annual house price growth has dropped to a rate of just 3.3%, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

Prices increased by 0.4% in May according to Halifax, to take the average house price to £220,706. However, over the quarter prices have fallen by 0.2%, while annual house price growth is now markedly lower than the 10% rate seen in March last year.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, is likely to support house price levels over the coming months.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club pointed out that even at this slower rate of growth, house prices remain “staggeringly high” across much of the country.

He said: “The only way to help struggling potential buyers to purchase their first home is to build more houses in key areas. We need a realistic, deliverable plan, that will give this country the injection of new homes it needs to expand the market and make homeownership more accessible to all those who desire it.”

Unsustainable

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said the gap between house price growth and wage growth was “unsustainable” and so it was inevitable that price growth would ease, particularly in areas where they had risen fastest.

He added: “Election uncertainty is far from the only issue facing the property market, but if Friday morning brings a clear result there’s a good chance the market will ease past its current speed bump. A dose of clarity is what is needed to free up more supply and spur discretionary buyers back into action.”

Russell Quirk, CEO and founder of online estate agent eMoov, said the recent unpredictability of house prices was a reflection of the “turbulent landscape” of both the UK property market and the wider economy have had to traverse over the last year.

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