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Annual house price growth unchanged in latest data

Video transcript

New rolling quarterly data, published as part of the latest Halifax House Prices report, has highlighted ongoing strong levels of growth in the UK property market.

An unchanged figure of 9.2 per cent was recorded in annual property value growth during the three months to the end of May 2016, the report showed.

It represents the same level of market growth that was recorded during the three months to the end of May last year - highlighting a key stabilisation of the sector that now appears to be taking hold.

A monthly change of plus 0.6 per cent was recorded from April to May this year, with the average UK property value now estimated to be standing just shy of £213,500.

Overall, this was the largest monthly offset since April's reduction in value of 0.8 per cent.

Figures for the market in relation to the previous rolling quarter - December, January and February - revealed a further positive change of plus 1.4 per cent.

Responding to the latest results, Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis stated that some of the main drivers of growth in recent months have included the impact of the ongoing low interest rate environment - meaning buyers are able to secure more affordable deals - as well as further growth in levels of employment across the UK.

An increase in real earnings for households that continues to help to restore economic confidence across the country is also having a positive impact.

Mr Ellis added that `the strength of demand, combined with very low supply, is causing house prices to rise at a brisk pace in quarterly and annual terms`.

He concluded that the outlook for further price rises does not look good though, as increasing issues of affordability - created by a sustained period of higher than earnings property price growth across the UK - means housing demand is likely to fall throughout the remainder of the year.

A slowdown in growth is therefore being forecast for the market.

Indeed, figures published by the lender showed an annual 45 per cent reduction in housing sale completions in March, with the impact of stamp duty changes largely cited for this fall.

However, it does show that a drop-off in demand is already being witnessed in the UK property sector. 

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