UK property prices record surprise 1.3% rise in June

Taylor Scott International News

Property prices in the UK increased by 1.3% in June but the underlying pace of growth is slowing with year on year prices down to 8.4% from 9.2% in May, the lowest since July 2015. This takes the average price to £216,823 and the data from the Halifax house price index also shows that quarterly growth was 1.2%, also down, compared to 1.5% the previous month and the lowest since December 2014. ‘House prices continue to increase, albeit at a slower rate, but this precedes the European Union referendum result, therefore it is far too early to determine any impact since,’ said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. He pointed out that the month on month changes can be erratic and the quarter on quarter change is a more reliable indicator of the underlying trend. The figures show that despite Brexit the UK housing market is fundamentally strong, according to Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov. ‘With a continuing, acute shortage of new housing being built and a growing population even if immigration numbers are now curtailed, the demand and supply imbalance and the prospect of even low interest rates will underpin the market,’ he said. David Cheetham, market analyst and FX broker at XTB, pointed out that the month on month rise could be regarded as unexpected following an increase of just 0.6% the previous month. ‘The rise is somewhat surprising considering the impact on house building shares and property funds that has been seen following Britain's decision to leave the EU last month,’ he explained. ‘The worst hit shares in the FTSE100, in both the immediate aftermath and days that followed the Brexit were in the building sector with the majority of observers forecasting the decision to be negative for UK house prices. So far this week numerous asset managers have taken the steps of suspending trading in their property funds as withdrawals have surged amongst jittery investors,’ he pointed out. Sales should start to pick up in the coming months, according to Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner. ‘The fundamentals in the housing market remain unchanged. People still need a roof over their heads. There’s been a stand-off between sellers and buyers with transactions dropping off since the stampede in March to beat the stamp duty deadline. But sales should start to pick up in coming months with the weight of uncertainty now partially lifted,’ he said. ‘While people clearly delayed house purchases in the lead-up to the referendum, that backlog in transactions should unwind through the second half of the year. Life decisions like moving house can’t be put on hold forever. During periods of volatility in the stock and currency markets, investors tend to prefer assets which can provide a reliable income, combined with lower risk to preserve their wealth. For investors, residential property offers both of these attributes,’ he pointed out. ‘Historically, residential property has been the best performing… Taylor Scott International

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