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Halifax: House price growth at 7.6%

Written by: Liz Bury
House prices added a further 7.6% to reach an average of £261,221 in July, with industry experts mostly agreeing that a correction in future now seems unlikely.

The increase on June was 0.4%, or £1,122, while the quarterly uplift was 2.4%, according to Halifax’s House Price Index.

Annual price growth has slowed from a 12-month high of 9.6% in May, then 8.7% in June.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax (pictured), said: “Overall, assuming a continuation of recent economic trends, we expect the housing market to remain solid over the next few months, with annual price growth continuing to slow but remaining well into positive territory by the end of the year.”

Jeremy Leaf, former RICS residential chairman, said: “Available stock remains at low levels and this is continuing to support values, among with cheap mortgage rates.”

Mark Harris, chief executive at SPF Private Clients, added that while the best mortgage rates were available for the the equity rich or those with sizeable deposits, “we are seeing increasingly competitive pricing at higher loan-to-values as more lenders re-enter that space.”

Regional differences

House price growth of 2.5% in London was lower compared to other parts of the country, while the South East and East of England also lagged other regions for year-on-year growth.

Prices increased by 13.8% in Wales, and were up 11% in Yorkshire, while the South West saw a double digit rise, in July compared to the same month last year.

Tomer Aboody, director at MT Finance, said: “This isn’t a surprise as these areas are more affordable. They also provide greener spaces, underlining the desire of buyers and changing sentiment with regard to wanting more space.” 

Sundeep Patel, director of sales at Together, said: “We’ve seen a growing trend of city dwellers leaving for the suburbs in search of gardens. Buyers will continue to look for larger rooms or more office space as everyone adjusts to the fact that working from home is here to stay.”

Correction of sorts 

However, not all commentators agreed that continuing price growth was a given or that working from home would become the norm over the mid to long-term.

Guy Harrington, chief executive at Glenhawk, said: “House prices continue to demonstrate a complete disconnect from economic reality. Only once the pandemic fallout picture becomes clear, with government stimulus fully withdrawn, and people start returning to the office en masse, will the read across to the housing market become meaningful.

“Next year still looks more likely to see a correction of sorts than not.”

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