UK house prices jump in July by more than expected - Halifax
09 August, 2018, 12:41
House prices picked up in July with the annual rate of growth rising from 1.8% in June to 3.3% last month, the highest increase since last November, data showed.
"In contrast, the labour market remains robust, with the numbers of people in employment rising by 137,000 in the three months to May with much of the job creation driven by a rise in full-time employment".
House prices were up 1.4% on the month compared to a 0.9% jump in June, beating expectations for a 0.2% increase.
"While the quarterly and annual rates of house price growth have improved, housing activity remains soft".
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A bounce in volatile monthly figures added £3,253, or 1.4 per cent, to the cost of the average home and saw annual house price inflation accelerate from the 1.8 per cent seen in June. Economists had forecast a marginal 0.2 percent rise for July. "We're looking forward to a reasonably active summer and autumn period as fewer but more serious buyers come to terms with changed market conditions" he says.
Month on month and quarterly prices also grew, by 1.4% and 1.3% respectively.
August's figures will be the first to reflect the impact of the base rate rise. The rate was expected to accelerate moderately to 2.7 percent.
Resi.co.uk founder and chief executive Alex Depledge comments that the price increase is, "likely to mean further stagnation in the property market".
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"That tussle continues, even if the last two months have seen increases in both the number of mortgage approvals and the number of homes coming onto the market". It is nearly as if the north/south divide is working in reverse with more activity outside rather than inside the capital.
"Housing market activity is still relatively lacklustre and we expect it to remain so as the extended squeeze on consumer purchasing power only gradually eases, consumer confidence is relatively fragile and appreciable caution persists over engaging in major transactions".
"The modest momentum could also be given a short-term boost by last week's increase in interest rates, which, rather than cooling the market, may spur previously hesitant buyers into action during the typically busy "back to school" season next month".
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