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House price growth hits four-year high – Halifax

Written by: Liz Bury
Halifax has recorded a yearly uplift in house prices of 5.2% during August in the strongest annual growth since late 2016.

The average price of a house reached an all-time high of £245,747.

The rise was 1.6% in August compared to July and 1.3% for the quarter June to August against March to May.

“A surge in activity has driven up house prices through the post-lockdown summer, fueled by the release of pent-up demand, a strong desire among some buyers to move to bigger properties, and the temporary cut to stamp duty,” said Halifax managing director Russell Galley.

However, Galley added that the impact of the pandemic on jobs meant the lively level of price inflation was unlikely to continue.

“Rising house prices contrast with an adverse impact from the pandemic on household earnings. With most economic commentators saying that unemployment will continue to rise, we expect greater downward pressure on house prices in the medium-term,” he said.

Guy Harrington, chief executive at specialist lender Glenhawk, agreed that the general economic picture was likely to catch up with the housing market.

“The impact could become evident later this year or in 2021, as furlough, mortgage holidays and the stamp duty tax break come to an end, and with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit,” Harrington said.

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