UK House Price Growth Slows In June

British house price growth cooled in annual terms to a four-month low in June, as expected, mortgage lender Halifax said on Friday. According to the lender, United Kingdom prices leapt 1.6% in March, dropped by 3.1% in April, the steepest monthly fall since 2010, and then rose by 1.7% in May.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: "Activity levels, like house price growth, have softened compared with the final months of past year". Nationwide building society said prices rose by 0.5% in June, and that annual price growth was running at 2% - the lowest figure for five years. We continue to see very positive factors of continuing low mortgage rates, great affordability levels and a robust labour market. Regionally, we are seeing more buying opportunities in the Midlands and Yorkshire, where house prices are showing continued growth, than in the more expensive markets in parts of London where prices remain subdued as buyers adopt a "wait and see" approach in the face of the current economic and political uncertainties.

"Transaction levels, new buyer enquiries and supply have been depressed for some time now and shopping baskets continue to go up in price faster than shoppers' homes".

He said: "We agree with Halifax's overall assessment that the market will continue to rise slowly for the rest of the year".

Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "Halifax's house prices index now has fallen for two consecutive quarters - by 0.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter in quarter one and quarter two, respectively - and the trend likely won't improve soon".

Archer added: "The fundamentals for house buyers are likely to remain challenging".

"These figures show a stable housing market, with a small monthly rise in prices, and the annual rate of increase unchanged at 1.8 per cent". We continue to suspect that any meaningful housing market upturn will remain elusive over the coming months. "With some economic indicators looking more favourable and Mark Carney's recent comments on the strength of the United Kingdom economy, we are confident the outlook for residential property will remain positive".

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