House prices fell by just 0.3 per cent in the month of June, suggesting virtual stability in the UK property market, according to the recent House Price Index from Halifax.

The slight decrease in prices left the average UK house price at £237,110 as a result. On a quarterly basis, however, house prices saw an increase of 2.4 per cent in the second quarter, as compared to figures for the previous quarter, suggesting more overall resilience.

Annual growth despite monthly weakness

On an annual basis, UK house prices were 5.7 per cent higher in June. This annual growth came following a period of low growth back in 2018, which impacted year-on-year comparisons, the index reports.

Mortgages for Business – MPU

UK home sales from March to May saw a fall of 3.5 per cent, against the figures from December to February. In comparison, for May, residential transaction figures were approximately 11 per cent lower than during the same period last year.

Stable demand and mortgage approvals

The report also referred to recent Bank of England figures to support its analysis of housing activity. The data showed that mortgage approvals remained steady in May, standing at 65,409, slightly above the 12-month average.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, commented: “Average house prices dipped marginally in June…This extends the largely flat trend we’ve seen over recent months. More generally, the housing market is displaying a reasonable degree of resilience in the face of political and economic uncertainty.”

Mr Galley said: “Recent industry figures show demand looking slightly more stable, with mortgage approvals ticking along, just above the long-term average. One of the major restraining factors on the volume of transactions in the market continues to be the very low level of stock for sale.”

Mr Galley concluded that due to the ongoing lack of clarity around Brexit, people will be looking for more certainty in the coming months, both to encourage them to list their properties as up for sale and to create the confidence needed to encourage buyers.

The likelihood of continued historically-low mortgage rates would help underpin prices in the near term, Mr Galley added.

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Pia Subramaniam
Pia provides Property Notify readers with her insights into the UK property market, through her reporting on the social impact of various housing policies. She also specialises in covering the relationship between immigration and housing, as well as investigating loopholes in the market and concerns voiced by landlords and tenants.

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