UK annual house price growth eases to 8.4%
House prices increased by 1.3% between May and June. This followed a 0.9% rise in May. The month-on-month changes can be erratic and the quarter on quarter change is a more reliable indicator of the underlying trend, according to Halifax.
Home sales stabilised in May. The introduction of higher stamp duty tax rates for buy to let and a second home in April has had a substantial impact on house sales in recent months. 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.
UK home sales stabilised in May, rising slightly (1.5%). Sales of 89,700 in the month, however, remained 16% below the average over the six months to February (106,750).
Mortgage approvals rose modestly in May. The stamp duty change has also affected mortgage approvals in recent months. The volume of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – increased by 1.3% between April and May.
Nonetheless, approvals in the three months to May were 6% lower than in the preceding three months. ■