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Halifax reports 0.1% rise in May house prices

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by Kay Mitchell

The Halifax has today revealed UK house prices rose by just 0.1% in May compared with April.

The latest house price rise takes the average cost of a UK home to £160,519, the Halifax said.

Meanwhile, on an annual basis, prices are 4.2% lower – the biggest annual fall since October 2009, said the lender.

Uncertainty surrounding the economy has driven prices lower in the first part of the year and the housing market will remain subdued in the short-term but the Halifax expects prices to stabilise later in the year.

Commenting on today‘s report, Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “Low earnings growth, higher taxes and relatively high inflation are all putting pressure on household finances.

“Confidence is also weak as a result of uncertainty about the economic and employment outlook. These factors are probably constraining housing demand and applying some downward pressure on prices.”

In comparison, last week the Nationwide reported a 0.3% rise in house prices for the month of May, taking the average house price to £167,208.

In other news today, retail sales fell last month, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) today.

The fall was attributed to consumers overspending in April due to the long bank holiday weekends and hot weather.

The BRC said annual like-for-like retail sales fell by 2.1% in May after April’s 5.2% rise.

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News posted: June 7, 2011

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