UK homeowners saw the value of their property increase by an average of 3.7% year on year in August, 0.1% month on month, the latest lender index shows.
The data, produced by the Halifax, shows that the average property value now stands at £229,958, constituting a 1.9% rise on a quarterly basis.
Managing director of the Halifax, Russell Galley, confirms that July saw the annual rate of growth has gone up by 0.4% from the 3.3% recorded in July. ‘While the pace of employment growth has recently slowed, a low unemployment rate and a gradual pickup in wage growth are helping to support household finances,’ he said.
‘This has been accompanied by interest rates still remaining at a historically low rate and a stable, yet constrained, supply of new homes onto the market further supporting house prices,’ he added.
According to Russell Quirk, chief executive officer of Emoov, these figures indicate that there is a strong element of stability in the housing market currently. ‘We’ve seen prices maintain an upward trend since May now and although only marginal in August, this is widely expected and actually quite impressive for what is usually a very slow time of year for property transactions,’ he explained.
‘These latest figures suggest that the market is yet to lose its resolve and in fact, we should see market activity pick up significantly from now until Christmas bringing prices with it,’ he added.
However, it has also be pointed out by Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, that the options remain limited for those looking to either move up the market or even downsize. He alludes to a lack of adequate housing, and says that this is having a negative impact on the market at large.
‘The result is that borrowers are being forced to rely on others, such as the Bank of Mum and Dad, which funds one in every four housing transactions. If we are to create a housing market that is fair and accessible for everyone, Government and industry must work together to deliver the additional 300,000 houses that we desperately need each year,’ he pointed out.
With Britain’s exit from the European Union looming, it is believed that the current stability is positive news for Britain, as the exit date in March next year moves ever closer.
James Newbery, investment manager at property investment platform British Pearl added ‘A fourth consecutive month of growth shows that Britain’s housing market is still on relatively robust ground. Annual growth continues to tick over reassuringly and these figures prove that the market is far from teetering on the edge.’
‘Investors are holding steadfast and are taking advantage of a market underpinned by a lack of stock, growing household incomes and a solid labour market. And despite the Government’s tightening grip on buy to let and painfully low transaction levels, we are still to see a sudden rise in stock availability due to landlords abandoning their portfolios,’ he explained.
‘The future direction of the market remains an unknown, but this latest data from the Halifax shows there is no immediate reason to abandon ship,’ he concluded.