Halifax – House prices remain flat in August
House prices are holding steady with a 0.3% monthly rise and 0.1% quarterly rise in August, according to the latest Halifax house price index.
House prices in August were 1.8% higher than in the same month a year earlier.
Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “There was no real shift in house prices in August as the average property value grew by just 0.3% month on month. This further extends the predominantly flat trend we’ve seen over the last six months, with the average house price having barely changed since March.
“While ongoing economic uncertainty continues to weigh on consumer sentiment – with evidence of both buyers and sellers exercising some caution – a number of important underlying factors such as affordability and employment remain strong.
“Although the housing market will undoubtedly be influenced by events in the wider economy, it continues to show a degree of resilience for the time being. We should also not lose sight of the fact that the single biggest driver of both prices and activity over the longer-term remains the dearth of available properties to meet demand from buyers.”
Lucy Pendleton, founder and director of independent estate agents James Pendleton, commented: “This index from Halifax has plummeted from some extraordinary annual growth figures seen earlier this year, and somehow always seemed out of kilter with other indices.
“It is still a nose and perhaps one shoulder ahead of the UK’s other meters of property price progress but has slowly fallen more into line with the rest. All now trail inflation as Brexit has slammed the door on the property market’s fingers, leaving a crack through which only modest price growth can be achieved.
“The market has continued its idling path to what feels like an inevitable grinding halt.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: “Lack of supply, an issue which shows no sign of being resolved anytime soon, is supporting property prices, despite all the political and economic uncertainty. Mortgages remain cheap, with lenders cutting rates even further this week as Swap rates continue to fall.
“Transactions remain fairly steady as those buyers and sellers who have to get on with things continue to do so. Deals are being done and early signs are that business could be brisk this autumn even as Westminster continues to argue over Brexit.”
Source: Financial Reporter