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House prices stable in August

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by Gill Montia

UK house prices rose by 0.2% in August, following on from a 0.6% increase in July, according to Halifax.

Much of the decline seen in the three preceding months has now been reversed, leaving the annual rate of inflation at 4.6%, slightly below the 4.9% measured in July.

With the typical value of a home at £167,953, prices are now at similar levels to a year ago and currently 9% above their April 2009 low, but 16% below their August 2007 peak.

Activity has been “largely static” since the start of 2010, and the lender suggests the market is now “broadly stable”, having cooled since last year when properties for sale were in short supply.

Halifax housing economist, Martin Ellis, says: The improved economy, strengthening labour market and low interest rates are all supporting housing demand.”

Looking to the future, Mr Ellis expects prices to remain static overall in 2010.

By way of comparison, Nationwide recently reported that in August, house prices fell for the second consecutive monthly.

The building society recorded a 0.9% decline, following on from a 0.5% month-on-month fall in July.

The annual rate of inflation remained in positive territory at 3.9% but was down sharply from 6.6% in July and 8.7% in June.

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News posted: September 8, 2010

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