The latest House Price Index from Halifax has revealed a 1.6% increase in house prices in the three months to July, compared to the previous three months. This exceeds the 1.1% increase seen in June, and is similar to the rates recorded in April and May (both 1.5%).
The analysis also shows that prices in the three months to July were 8.4% higher than in the same three months a year earlier.
“There are signs that house price growth is slowing with a deceleration in both the annual and quarterly rates of increase in the past few months,” commented Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. “Nonetheless, the current rates remain robust.”
“Overall, it remains too early to determine if there has been any impact on the housing market as a result of June’s EU referendum result,” he added.
The number of first time buyers (FTBs) increased by an estimated 10% in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, according to Halifax. There were an estimated 154,200 FTBs in the first half of 2016 compared with 140,500 in the same period last year.
The number of home sales taking place also continued to show improvement in June. Halifax highlights that sales have been heavily distorted in recent months by the introduction of higher stamp duty tax rates for buy to let and second home purchases in April. A rush to complete sales ahead of the tax change caused a sharp rise in March, which was followed by a substantial decline in April. However, UK home sales continued to recover in June with a 5% increase compared with May.
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