Average UK property price breaks £200,000 barrier, says Halifax
Lender records monthly house price rise of 1.7% in June, taking average price to £200,280 – the first time price has topped £200,000 since its records began.
The Halifax's report listing June's house price rise was described as 'a bit of a stunner' by Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
The price of the average property in the UK burst through the £200,000 barrier in June for the first time since records began, following an unexpected 1.7% surge in monthly house prices, the Halifax has said.
This is the fourth monthly rise in a row, according to the lender, and contributed to a quarterly rise in the three months to June of 3.3%. It resulted in an average UK property price of £200,280.
This is the first time the average has exceeded £200,000 since the Halifax started recording prices in 1983.
The sudden sharp June increase has resulted in a marked increase in the annual rate of inflation to 9.6% compared to 8.6% just a month earlier. It puts annual house growth back up to where it was in September 2014 and has caused some economists to rethink their forecasts.
“Our current forecast is for house prices to rise by 6% over 2015, but the Halifax data at least suggests that this may be too conservative a projection,” said Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, who described the lender’s latest report as “a bit of a stunner”.
However, Archer cautioned that data from the Halifax has been more volatile than other house price measures in recent months and that no one should pin too much weight on one particular house price survey or measure.
In sharp contrast, earlier this month the Nationwide said house prices had dipped by 0.2% in June, bringing the annual rate of growth to its lowest level in two years.
Both house price indices are based on the value of mortgages the two lenders approve and do not include cash sales.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, said housing supply remains “very tight”, with the number of homes for sale at record low levels.
“This shortage has been a key factor maintaining house price growth at a robust pace so far in 2015,” he said. “Economic growth, higher employment, increasing real earnings growth and very low mortgage rates are all supporting housing demand, with signs of a recent modest pick-up in demand.”
Nationally, house prices per square metre have risen by 18% since 2010, from an average of £1,719 to £2,033 in 2015, with increases across all regions, according to recent separate research from Halifax.
Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly Property Finance, said that the surge in prices was almost certainly due to the general election result.
“The Conservative majority was immediately viewed as a positive for the UK property market,” he said. “With economic growth stronger than expected during the first quarter, a buoyant jobs market and people generally better off, you would expect the market to continue to improve throughout the rest of 2015, if at a more moderate rate compared to recent years.”