Britain’s biggest mortgage lender has predicted a cooling in Britain’s house price boom after reporting a fall in the annual rate of property inflation. Halifax has reported that prices rose by 0.4% in July, the first month since buyers in England and Northern Ireland had to contend with a less generous stamp duty holiday.
However, the bank said prices had been rising more sharply a year ago, so the annual rate of increase came down from 8.7% to 7.4% – its lowest level since March. The monthly update on the property market showed a marked north-south divide, with London, the south-east and the east of England reporting the smallest annual price rises, while the biggest jumps were in Wales, the north-west and Yorkshire and Humberside.
Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global, a house moving services provider, commented: “We specialise in moving people to new homes quickly and cheaply, and we have seen a flurry of activity over the last year and a bit, but we always knew it would slow down as the demand starts to reduce. The stamp duty holiday, which has ended for most property, was an impetus to move, but not the only one – there is still pent-up savings and low-cost borrowing to fund peoples’ desires for more spacious homes in more spacious regions.”