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House prices up again

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House prices were up again in March and over the first quarter of the year, the latest figures from Halifax bank have revealed.

The latest survey from the bank showed that the average house increased in value by 0.9% in March and by 1.6% over the first quarter of 2006.

The biggest house price rises in the first quarter of 2006 were in Wales (4.5%), East Anglia (3.4%) and East Midlands (3.0%). And the annual rate of house price inflation was strong at 6.2%.

However, the rise in prices at 1.6% this quarter was smaller than it was in the last quarter, Quarter four 2005, where gains of 2.3% were recorded.

And Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, said: “The weakening in the labour market, the continuing high level of house prices in relation to earnings and pressure on householders’ finances from the recent hikes in utility and council tax bills are all expected to curb demand in the coming months, therefore preventing a sustained acceleration in house price inflation.”

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