House prices rising fast

Sam Cordon

August 6, 2013

Prices in the three months to July were 4.6% than a year earlier and prices rose by 0.9% in July alone.

Martin Ellis, Halifax’s housing economist, said: “Signs of improvement in the economy, underlined by the recent evidence of a rise in gross domestic product in quarter 2 and increases in employment, appear to have boosted consumer confidence.

“House prices are expected to continue to rise gradually through this year, with only modest economic growth and still falling real earnings constraining housing demand and activity.”

The Halifax’s Index mirrors the results of the Nationwide’s latest analysis which also revealed that prices were rising at the fastest annual rate for three years.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The outlook for the housing market continues to improve as increased mortgage availability, better rates and more choice at higher loan to values combine to make buyers more confident about their ability to get funding.

“It is still too early to describe the housing market as being in rude health, however, as there is a worrying lack of stock, which is the main driver behind the latest rise in house prices. However, the number of transactions is also on the rise.”

“While the number of transactions continues to rise and the Council of Mortgage Lenders also report that lending numbers are the strongest they have been since 2008, this will be a long, slow recovery.

“Much ground has been lost and transactions and lending levels are running at a fraction of what they were at the height of the housing boom.

“Government schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy are seeing a positive impact though, and we expect this to continue when the mortgage guarantee element of Help to Buy is introduced in January.”

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