Average house prices up 5.2% YOY in May

Average house prices in the UK creeped up to £237,837 in May, representing an annual increase of 5.2 per cent, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

Averages property prices also increased on a monthly basis, rising 0.5 per cent when compared to April. The quarterly change was also significant, with prices in the latest quarter (March to May) 2.5 per cent higher than in the preceding three months (December to February).

The index stated that May’s annual change figure of 5.2 per cent comes against a backdrop of a “particularly low growth rate” in the corresponding period in 2018, impacting on year-on-year comparisons.

Commenting on the figures, Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “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.

“This is supported by industry-wide figures which suggest no real change in the number of homes being sold month to month, while Bank of England data show the number of mortgages being approved rose by almost 6 per cent in April, reversing the softness seen in the previous month.

Galley added that, despite current conditions encouraging first-time buyers to make their first move onto property ladder, existing homeowners will “doubtless be considering long-term house price growth”, which continues to look subdued when compared to recent years.

“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.”

Also commenting, Trussle mortgage expert Dilpreet Bhagrath said: “A part from a slight increase of 0.5% in house prices this month, things have remained fairly stable in the housing market.

And with mortgage approvals on the rise, this could be the time for first-time buyers to take hold of this stability and look for their first home. More than two in five (41 per cent) parents admit to still having grown-up children living at home, highlighting the financial struggles facing young people as they attempt to get a foot on the property ladder.

It is always important to take into account any personal and future circumstances when securing a mortgage and seek advice to ensure you're aware of the options."

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