United Kingdom house prices rise at fastest rate in eight months during August

United Kingdom house prices rise at fastest rate in eight months during August”

The stronger monthly performance means the annual rate of house price growth increased to 2.6% in August versus 2.1% in the prior month. High employment and very low mortgage rates are also now supportive.

Even so, house prices were still up by just 0.1% in the three months to August compared to the three months to May - although this was the first positive three-month/three-month reading since March.

The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said the average United Kingdom home cost £222,293 in August, a 1.1% increase on the previous month.

Annual property price inflation picked up from 2.1 per cent in July to 2.6 per cent last month, but is down substantially on the 8.4 per cent recorded a year ago.

The data from Halifax is one of many house price indexes.

The Bank of England said last week that mortgage approvals unexpectedly jumped to a 16-month high in July.

While July's marked pick-up in mortgages may ease some concerns over tepid housing market activity, we have doubts that it marks the start of a significant upturn.

The slowdown in Britain's housing market could be coming to an end, as United Kingdom house prices rose 0.1% between June and August compared to the preceding three months, marking the first quarterly increase since March.

'House prices should continue to be supported by low mortgage rates and a continuing shortage of properties for sale over the coming months'.

Halifax also pointed to strength in the United Kingdom labour market as a factor underpinning the housing market.

It takes the average United Kingdom house price to a record £222,293, just above the previous peak of £222,190 reached in December 2016. Consequently, average stock levels on estate agents' books remained close to record lows.

However, Halifax flagged most recent HMRC data showing that property sales had edged up to 104,760 between June and July - exceeding 100,000 for the seventh month in a row.

HMRC figures show United Kingdom home sales edged up to 104,760 in July, the highest monthly level since March 2016. The latest RICS survey showed new instructions to sell fell for a 17 month running in July.

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