UK house prices rise 5.4% in Q2, year on year, says Halifax
Property prices rise at their fastest rate since 2010, but there are already signs the market is slowing
HALIFAX has revealed that house prices in Britain rose by 5.4 per cent in the three months to August compared to the same period last year, meaning prices are growing at their highest annual rate since June 2010. An improving economy, low interest rates and the government's Help to Buy scheme all contributed.
The average house price is now £170,231, the highest for five years, though still lower than its peak of £200,000 in August 2007.
The number of mortgage approvals, the BBC reports, rose by 10 per cent between the first and second quarters of 2013.
The Halifax survey adds to fears that Britain is heading for another housing bubble. Critics have been warned that George Osborne's Help to Buy – which provides first-time home buyers with up to 20 per cent of the price of a property – risks falsely inflating the housing market.
However, there were signs that the pace of the rise is slowing. Although house prices were up 0.4 per cent in August alone, this was less than the 0.7 per cent economists had forecast and slower than July's 0.9 per cent rise, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Martin Ellis, the Halifax's housing economist, said that prices can be expected to rise "gradually" during the rest of the year, with below-inflation pay rises "likely to act as a brake on the market". ·