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House prices rose 3.7% in the year to August

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07/09/2018
The housing market picked up slightly last month, but Brexit worries still loom large
House prices rose 3.7% in the year to August

House prices in the three months to August increased by 3.7% against the same period a year earlier, according to Halifax.

On a monthly basis, prices remained steady, seeing a small rise of 0.1%, taking the average house price to £229,958.

In the latest quarter (June-August) prices were 1.9% higher than in the preceding three months (March-May 2018), said the lender.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “While the pace of employment growth has recently slowed, a low unemployment rate and a gradual pickup in wage growth are helping to support household finances. This has been accompanied by interest rates still remaining at a historically low rate and a stable, yet constrained, supply of new homes onto the market further supporting house prices.”

Ross Boyd, founder of mortgage platform, Dashly.com, added a note of caution: “Lots of plus signs across the August house price index but they’re all being driven by a minus — insufficient homes on the market and the broader lack of supply,” he said.

“With the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit rising, finances under pressure and rates edging up, many households have shelved the idea of moving home altogether.

“In such an uncertain climate, both political and economic, people are sitting tight and getting their finances shipshape, and remortgaging, rather than risk overexposing themselves.

“Those people that are buying are driving a hard bagain with sellers, but equally many sellers are playing hardball, too.

“With borrowing rates still so low, vendors aren’t under immense pressure to sell and the result is a classic Mexican stand-off with buyers.”

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