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Rise in house prices

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Rise in house prices

The average price of a house in Britain has edged up to £237,837, according to the Halifax.

The three months to the end of May have seen the fastest annual rate since the start of 2017.

The research showed house prices for the period were 5.2 per cent higher than in 2018, up from five per cent annual growth in the three months to April – the highest since January 2017

The figures come against the backdrop of a particularly low growth rate in the corresponding period in 2018, however, which has had an impact on year-on-year comparisons.

The country’s housing market has slowed since the Brexit referendum.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, says: “We saw a slight increase in house prices between April and May, but the overall message is one of stability.

“Despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty, underlying conditions in the broader economy continue to underpin the housing market, particularly the twin factors of high employment and low interest rates.

“This is supported by industry-wide figures which suggest no real change in the number of homes being sold month to month, while Bank of England data show the number of mortgages being approved rose by almost six per cent in April, reversing the softness seen in the previous month.

“While current conditions may help those looking to make their first move on to the property ladder, existing homeowners will doubtless be considering long-term house price growth which continues to look subdued in comparison to recent years.

“Looking ahead, we expect the current trend of stability based on high employment and low interest rates to persist over the coming months, though clearly any downturn in the wider economy would be keenly felt in the housing market.”