Britain’s largest mortgage lender says that house price growth throughout the UK picked up unexpectedly in August thanks to a strong labor market and a shortage of available properties.
Halifax, which is owned by Lloyds Banking Group said that the average house price was £222,293 last month, an increase of 1.1%. House price rises in the three months to August were up 2.6% compared to the year before. Annual price growth has been dropping from a March 2016 increase of 10%.
These house price rises were surprising, as other research pointed to a housing market slowdown. Affordability is a problem, as inflation has been exceeding weight growth, but the demands on household income have been evened out by low mortgage rates, low unemployment, and low numbers of available properties for sale.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley said that recent mortgage approvals figures suggest that buoyancy may be coming back, likely due to recent employment growth, as unemployment rates are currently at a 42-year low.
According to Halifax, monthly home sales in the UK have been over 100,000 for seven consecutive months. HMRC figures indicate that between June and July they reached 104,760, the highest total since March 2016.