UK house prices accelerated at the fastest pace in eight months in July, according to data from Halifax, providing fresh evidence of a modest recovery in the market after a slow start to the year.
Prices increased 3.3% from a year ago, the lender’s house price index showed, in a rapid pick-up from the 1.8% year-on-year rise in June. Economists have been surprised by the pace of the increase. Measured quarter-on-quarter, prices rose 1.3% and month-on-month by 1.4%.
The data follow figures from Nationwide published last week, which showed a more modest 0.6% monthly rise and 2.5% annual increase, but which were also characterised as showing a rebound.
Both lenders have questioned the sustainability of the July rise, however. Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said on Tuesday (7th August) that “while the quarterly and annual rates of house price growth have improved, housing activity remains soft”.
He added: “Despite the recent modest improvement in mortgage approvals, the latest survey data for new buyer inquiries and agreed sales suggest that approvals will remain broadly flat until the end of the year.”