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House price growth subdued for second successive month

  • 04/06/2015
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House price growth subdued for second successive month
House prices rose by 2% in the three months to May to reach an average of £196,000, figures from the Halifax House Price Index revealed.

The pace of house price growth in the three months to May slowed for the second successive month.

In the three months to April house prices rose by 2.2% and 2.6% in March.

Continued house price rises have raised concerns among estate agents that first-time buyers will be priced out of the market over the next five years.

Over 90% of member agents of the National Association of Estate Agents said they did not expect the first-time buyer market to grow substantially over the next five years.

The outlook for mortgage approvals was more positive. Figures from the Bank of England released this week, revealed that mortgage approvals for both house purchases and remortgages reached their highest level in 14 months. House purchase approvals reached 68,076 compared to 60,679 in March while remortgage approvals in April climbed to 35,930 up from 32,308 in March.

Martin Ellis, housing economist for Halifax, said: “This measure of the underlying rate of house price growth eased for the second consecutive month, falling to its lowest since January.

“Housing supply remains extremely tight with the stock of properties available for sale currently at its lowest level for many years. At the same time, ongoing economic recovery, increasing employment, real earnings growth and very low mortgage rates are all supporting housing demand.”

Ellis said the tension between supply and demand had kept annual house price inflation well above earnings growth although activity levels were subdued.

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