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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

House prices benefit from election boost

House prices in the UK climbed solidly in May as a result of the certainty provided by the General Election result, experts said.

Figures published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics showed that UK house prices increased by 5.7% in the year to May 2015, up from 5.5% in the year to April. Meanwhile, statistics released by the Council for Mortgage Lenders showed that lending levels in May were up slightly on the previous month, although they were lower than a year earlier.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said: “A surprise General Election result didn’t just crystallise our political future for the next five years. Unexpected certainty also reinforced and reinvigorated house price growth across the country. After a shakier start to the month – as wary buyers and sellers kept their distance – house price rises found their footing again as sales firmed up towards the end of May.”

Gill added that the signs of a positive summer were good. “Buyers are now queuing up to secure finance, and as the supply of mortgages improves and repayments remain competitive, activity is set to get into its stride. An encouraging confidence from buyers is being cheered along en route by low interest rates and continued support from initiatives like Help to Buy.”

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “House price growth has visibly slowed for the last two months: April saw the lowest rate of annual growth since late 2013, and despite picking up in May, house prices remain substantially below the 10% gains observed this time last year.

“Homeowners are still benefitting from a significant uplift in the value of their properties but there are encouraging signs that the market is returning to a more stable footing.”

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