House prices spike in last quarter

City A.M. Reporter
HOUSE prices rose 0.6 per cent in June from May and posted their sharpest annual increase in nearly three years in the second quarter, mortgage lender Halifax said yesterday.

Prices were 3.7 per cent higher in the April to June period than a year ago.

Both readings beat analysts’ forecasts for a 0.4 per cent monthly rise and a 3.6 per cent yearly increase.

“Improved confidence in both the housing market and the economy, combined with a shortage of properties available for sale, appear to be pushing up house prices,” said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist.

He noted that early indications that the government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme might be stimulating demand.

“Despite these signs of improvement in the market, the still subdued economic background and weak income growth are expected to remain significant constraints on housing demand and activity during the second half of 2013,” he added.

Halifax said the average house price hit £167,984 in June, the highest level since August 2010.