House prices up 2% in April
Average UK property prices increased by a full 2% last month.
According to the Halifax House Price Index the annual rate of house price inflation now stands at 8.8%, the highest figure for 13 months. The country’s larges mortagge lender predicts that strong growth will continue over the next couple of months, before tailing off in the second half of the year. Chief Economist Martin Ellis said: “Whilst the market may remain relatively buoyant over the coming few months, we expect the softening in the labour market and the continuing high level of house prices in relation to earnings to curb demand. Alongside higher utility and council tax bills, these factors should lead house price growth to moderate in the second half of 2006.