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UK house prices rise 3.3%

House prices 15

Average UK house prices have risen by more than three per cent over the past 12 months, according to the latest property market figures.

The monthly Halifax House Price Index reveals that property values in the three months to May 2017 were 3.3 per cent higher than the same period in 2016.

A rise was also observed on a monthly basis, with a 0.4 per cent increase between April and May, which has seen the average UK property price reach £220,706.

The slight change represents a continued era of stability, with hardly any change in house prices over the past three months.

Stability amid uncertainty

Recent months have also been characterised by slight uncertainty over the General Election and the impending exit from the European Union following the triggering of Article 50.

Home sales figures supplied by HMRC, which cover the month from March to April, reveal a slight three per cent fall in completed transactions, to 99,910, but on a quarterly basis sales were two per cent higher than in the previous three months.

A similar change was observed in mortgage approvals, which fell by two per cent between March and April, to 64,600. Mortgage approval numbers have been stable in recent months, generally remaining between 64,000 and 68,000, which suggests that sales volumes are unlikely to fluctuate wildly over the coming months.

Continuing support

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, commented: “After reaching a recent peak of ten per cent in March 2016, annual house price growth has since fallen to 3.3 per cent in May.

“Historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate is likely to support house price levels over the coming months.”

It comes after the latest House Price Sentiment Index from Knight Frank and IHS Markit found that 17.7 per cent of homeowners believed their home was worth more in May than it was in April. In contrast, just 6.5 per cent of households think their property is worth less.

May’s reading was the tenth consecutive month that the index has been in positive territory, following the post-referendum low in July 2016, with households in all of the UK regions covered by the index perceiving that the value of their property rose during the month.

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