Halifax reveals a surprise June house price rise

Ben Southwood
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<a href="/house-prices">House prices</a> rose in June bucking the overall downward trend, according to a closely-watched gauge.

Halifax’s house price index shot up one per cent in June compared to May, although overall it dropped by 0.5 per cent year-on-year. However, the annual change is a much less sharp drop than the falls seen a year ago, according to the group.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “There has been a marked improvement in the annual rate of change over the past 12 months.”

Ellis said that prices appeared to have stabilised over the past three months with the annual rate between zero and minus 0.5 per cent.

However, analysts yesterday suggested that the figures might not be representative.

Halifax looks only at its own customers, and Halifax’s results fly in the face of earlier data from Nationwide, which showed a 0.6 per cent decline in June.

Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight said: “We are surprised by the rise in house prices in June. However it should be borne in mind that the…index has been particularly volatile in recent months.”

Archer warned that he expected house prices to fall by around three per cent over the second half of 2012. He said the falls would come about as a result of; “limited activity, low and fragile consumer confidence, muted earnings growth and high unemployment.”