House prices rise in first quarter

 
Suzie Neuwirth

HOUSE prices in the three months to April were 1.3 per cent higher than in the previous quarter, according to data from Halifax.

However, the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases were one per cent lower during the period, according to the Halifax House Price Index.

“House prices continue to pick up gradually,” said housing economist Martin Ellis. “Prices in the three months to April 2013 were 1.3 per cent higher than in the preceding three months, marking the fifth consecutive increase in house prices on this measure. The relatively low level of mortgage payments in relation to income continues to provide support for the market.

“[However,] weak income growth and continuing below-trend economic growth are likely to remain significant constraints on housing demand during the remainder of 2013.”