House prices increased by 5.2 per cent in the year leading up to May 2019, taking the average price to £237,837, according to the recent House Price Index from mortgage lender Halifax.
May’s drastic rise in prices contrasts a particularly low growth rate in the corresponding period in 2018, which significantly impacted year-on-year comparisons, the recent Halifax index reported.
UK property values increased by 0.5 per cent on a monthly basis while house prices were 2.5 per cent higher from March to May, compared to the 4.2 per cent growth in the previous quarter.
Property sales hold steady
The figures released by Halifax follow the recent property transactions data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). UK home sales remained steady overall, according to the data. April saw 99,420 home sales, which came close to the five-year average of 101,249. Property transactions decreased by merely 0.3 per cent between March and April, which was just 0.8 per cent higher than April 2018, according to HMRC Monthly data.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax commented: “We saw a slight increase in house prices between April and May, but the overall message is one of stability. Despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty, underlying conditions in the broader economy continue to underpin the housing market, particularly the twin factors of high employment and low interest rates.”
Mr Galley added that this is supported by industry-wide figures, which suggest no real change in number of homes being sold month to month. While current conditions may help those looking to make their first move onto the property ladder, existing homeowners will doubtless be considering long-term house price growth, which continues to look subdued in comparison to recent years.
Mr. Galley concluded: “Looking ahead, we expect the current trend of stability based on high employment and low interest rates to persist over the coming months, though clearly any downturn in the wider economy would be keenly felt in the housing market.”