House Prices Still On The Rise
House prices rose by 1% in June compared with the previous month but remained lower than a year earlier, a survey said. The Halifax, now part of the Lloyds Banking Group, said that the price of the average home was 0.5% lower than a year ago. This valued the average property in the UK at £162,417, the lender said.
The UK housing market has been relatively stagnant in recent times owing to nervousness about the economy. The survey which is based on the Halifax's mortgage data, has registered as many monthly price falls as price rises this year. The fluctuation is due in part to the low levels of activity in the housing market.
The three-month on three-month change, seen as a less volatile measure of property prices, showed a 0.3% drop in June. The annual change in prices has mostly been reflected by figures produced by the rival Nationwide Building Society. Last week, it said that the annual decline in prices stood at 1.5%.
However, the year-on-year comparison is calculated slightly differently by the two lenders. The Halifax compares the previous three months with the same three months a year earlier to give a smoother comparison, rather than a direct comparison of the equivalent months as calculated by the Nationwide. On an annual basis, prices were not falling as fast as had been the case, according to Halifax's housing economist Martin Ellis.
"A year ago, in May 2011, house prices were falling at an annual rate of 4.2%. In contrast, there has been broad stability recently with the annual rate between 0% and -0.5% in each of the past three months," he said. He predicted that prices and sales levels would see little change for the rest of the year.
However, prices have been changing at different rates in different parts of the country. A recent Land Registry report showed that prices have risen sharply in the last year in London but dropped in six of the English regions.