Figures released recently show that the average house price in the UK was £224,400 during may, a rise of just 1.9% year-on-year.
That’s according to the Halifax House Price Index that has monitored house prices since January 1983.
Although May’s average house price is some 1.5% higher than in April, it’s a slower year-on-year growth than was seen last month. That suggests there is still a lack of enthusiasm in the market for buying property.
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “These latest price changes reflect a relatively subdued UK housing market. After a sharp rise in January, mortgage approvals have softened in the past three months, whilst both newly agreed sales and new buyer enquiries are showing signs of stabilisation having fallen in recent months.”
Just last month, we ran a story reporting on how Brexit is impacting the property market and we suspect that the current figures from Halifax further support this view.
The Outlook Is Uncertain
Analysts seem somewhat unable to agree exactly what the future holds for the remainder of the year. However, most seem to be of the opinion that we are unlikely to see any kind of crash in the near future:
“The fundamentals of the market are still strong, with tight supply, strong employment figures, average wages rising faster than inflation and continuing low mortgage interest rates. We are unlikely to see much more of a turndown in prices unless those economic fundamentals change,” said Mike Scott, chief property analyst at Yopa.
Founder of online agency Emoov, Russell Quirk, explained: “Today’s figures are an indicator that sellers who were previously sat on the fence are now starting to take action and adjust their expectations in line with current market conditions in order to secure a sale.
“As more continue to do so, we should see further stability return and the erratic price trends of previous months begin to evaporate.”
Therefore, there certainly appears to be some hope amongst the online estate agents that the market is gearing up for a period of consolidation and ultimately growth. Time will tell whether their hopes have foundation or not.