UK house prices rise 1.6% in July – Halifax

UK house prices in July were 1.6% higher than they were in June, according to new data published in the latest Halifax House Price Index.

Halifax revealed that the average house price in July was the highest it has ever been since its Index began, reaching 3.8% higher than the same month a year ago.

The average price for a home hit £241,604 during July, although the data also showed that in the latest quarter – May to July – house prices were actually 0.2% lower than in the preceding three months, between February and April.

Halifax suggested that “uncertainty remains” with likely greater downward pressure on house prices in the medium-term.

“The latest data adds to the emerging view that the market is experiencing a surprising spike post lockdown,” Halifax managing director, Russell Galley, commented. “As pent-up demand from the period of lockdown is released into a largely open housing market, a low supply of available homes is helping to exert upwards pressure on house prices.

“Supported by the Government’s initiative of a significant cut in stamp duty, and evidence from households and agents suggesting that confidence is currently growing, the immediate future for the housing market looks brighter than many might have expected three months ago. However, looking further ahead, there is still a great deal of uncertainty around the lasting impact of the pandemic.

“As government support measures come to an end, the resulting impact on the macroeconomic environment, and in turn the housing market, will start to become more apparent. In particular, a weakening in labour market conditions would lead us to expect greater downward pressure on prices in the medium-term.”

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