Annual house price growth picked up in the three months to August, growing by 3.7 per cent, compared to a 3.3 per cent annual rise in the run up to July, according to new figures released today by Halifax.
With the average home costing £229,958, house prices remained steady month to month, ticking upwards by 0.1 per cent, compared to 1.2 per cent the month before.
It contrasts Nationwide's own data for August, which found that house prices suffered their biggest monthly drop in six years, down half a per cent to £214,745.
Prices rose 1.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to August, Halifax said.
Halifax’s House Price Index found that mortgage approvals fell by under one per cent between June and July to 64,768, close to the monthly average of 64,986 for the previous 12-month period.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “While the pace of employment growth has recently slowed, a low unemployment rate and a gradual pickup in wage growth are helping to support household finances.
“This has been accompanied by interest rates still remaining at a historically low rate and a stable, yet constrained, supply of new homes onto the market further supporting house prices.”
However, the number of completed sales of homes fell by 0.8 per cent between June and July to 99,270, the bank’s analysis of HMRC data showed.
Halifax expects this volume to remain flat for the near future, but said that new buyer enquiries were “broadly stable” in July.
Meanwhile, the number of first-time buyers increased by three per cent to 175,500 for the first six months of 2018, compared to 171,200 for the first half of 2017.
This growth means they now account for 51 per cent of all mortgaged house buyers, compared to 38 per cent a decade ago. Halifax credited the under-threat Help to Buy scheme with boosting this percentage, accounting for 128,317 first time house purchases.