Halifax points to positive factors for housing market

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There are a number of positive factors suggesting strong performance for the UK housing market during the remainder of 2018, according to Halifax.

The bank's latest house price figures, covering the three months to June, showed 1.8 per cent growth compared with the same period a year earlier. This figure was slightly below the 1.9 per cent increase recorded in May.

During the April to June quarter, UK house prices were 0.7 per cent lower than in the January to March period, but this was attributed to 'monthly volatility' in the data. 

On a monthly basis, property prices increased by 0.3 per cent in June, reaching an average of £225,654.

While recent trends in the housing market have been relatively flat, Halifax pointed out that there is cause for optimism where future performance is concerned.

Russell Galley, managing director of the bank, said: "At the halfway stage of the year the annual rate is within our forecast range of 0-3 per cent for 2018.

"We continue to see very positive factors of low mortgage rates, great affordability levels and a robust labour market. The continuing shortage of properties for sale should also continue to support price growth."

In research released earlier this year, Halifax highlighted how big an impact property values can have on owners' financial situations. Figures showed that 18 per cent of UK local areas have seen average house prices increase at a quicker rate than average pay in the past two years.

In the London borough of Barnet, homeowners 'earned' £52,000 more from growth in the value of their property than their regular pay over the surveyed time period.

However, the findings also showed that the proportion of areas where house prices are outpacing earnings growth fell from 31 per cent in 2016 to 18 per cent in 2017.