Property prices in the UK have risen at their fastest level in more than three years according to the latest Halifax House Price Index, released today.
The Index reveals that property prices in the three months to August 2013 were 5.4 per cent higher than they were during the same three-month period in 2012 – the highest annual growth rate recorded since June 2010. Prices were also up by 2.1 per cent on the previous three-month period and by 0.4 per cent month-on-month.
According to the Halifax figures, the average house price in the UK currently stands at £170,231.
And not only do the new figures show that property prices are rising, but sales activity is too. “Housing market activity is also on an upward trend with the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – 10 per cent higher in the three months to July compared with the previous quarter after allowing for seasonal influences,” said housing economist Martin Ellis.
“Economic improvement and low interest rates, supported by official schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, appear to have boosted housing demand in recent months. Nonetheless, relatively modest economic growth and below inflation rises in earnings are likely to act as a brake on the market. Overall, house prices are expected to rise gradually over the remainder of the year,” he added.
What’s more, an increasing number of properties are still coming onto the market. Surveyors have reported a rise in the number of homeowners providing instructions in each of the last six months, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.