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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Annual house price growth stable at 9.2%

House prices in the three months to May were 9.2% higher than in the same three months a year earlier, according to the latest Halifax figures.

Annual growth of 9.2% was unchanged from the figure recorded in April.

On a quarterly basis, the bank reports average prices increased by 1.4% during the second quarter of 2016.

Between April and May, the figures show seasonally adjusted growth of 0.6%.

Halifax calculates that in May the average house price in the UK was £213,472.

“Low interest rates, increasing employment and rising real earnings, continue to support housing demand,” says Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.

“The strength of demand, combined with very low supply, is causing house prices to rise at a brisk pace in quarterly and annual terms.”

“Increasing affordability issues, caused by a sustained period of higher-than-earnings house price growth, should curb housing demand and result in some slowdown in house price growth as the year progresses.”

Adrian Whittaker, sales director at New Street Mortgages, says the government's measures to dampen demand for housing have backfired as house prises continue to rise.

“Without a strong supply-side solution to meet this demand, our property market will continue to be a highly competitive space,” he says.

“With borrowers facing a race to buy property, brokers need to give their clients more certainty when it comes to securing a mortgage,” adds Whittaker.

“As such, brokers who submit a mortgage application hoping, rather than knowing, that it will go through can waste a lot of time and potentially risk burning bridges with their clients.”

Ian Thomas, co-founder and director of LendInvest, says Halifax's latest figures are 'remarkable'.

“Even now that the Stamp Duty stampede of the first quarter is behind us, and with the uncertainty of the EU referendum result dampening activity, house prices are still holding up,” he says.

He argues the government’s pledge of one million new homes by 2020 isn’t realistic without a fundamental change of approach.

“As a result, house prices will continue to rise,” he says.

“Investors will continue to enjoy great returns from putting their money into property, while aspiring home buyers face a tricky time getting the sums to add up in order to move up the housing ladder.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, says the latest figures are bad news for the country's aspiring home owners. 

“The consistent rises in the cost of property that these figures show are preventing many buyers from moving up the ladder, and potentially pricing out an entire generation of aspiring homeowners,” he says.

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