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House price growth eases in April 2016

House price growth eases in April 2016

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Video transcript

UK house price growth continues to be witnessed at breakneck speed, but it eased slightly in April, according to the latest publication of the Halifax House Price Index.

Prices across the UK in the three months to the end of April this year rose annually by 9.2 per cent, marking the rolling quarter as one of considerable upward momentum for the nation`s property sector.

Moreover, the latest data showed that the rolling three months witnessed a 1.5 per cent increase in growth in comparison to the preceding three-month period - November to January.

However, while this represents a continued improvement in the market, the rate of quarterly growth slowed somewhat from figures reported in March; falling from 2.9 per cent to almost half that level at present.

Indeed, this means that both the monthly and quarterly growth rates within the UK property market have now been recorded at their lowest rate since autumn last year.

Responding to these latest developments, Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis stated that the current market conditions remain `very tight`, as a `severe imbalance` between supply and demand dynamics across many parts of the country persists.

He went on to note that this has combined with the UK`s ongoing low interest rate environment, as well as growth in employment and real earnings, to continue to place upward pressure upon market values.

The outlook for the remainder of the year, however, may be more worrisome for the sector, as weakening sentiment regarding the positivity of month-after-month rises in average values and a dip in consumer confidence could take their toll.

Overall, the average UK property price now stands at just over £212,000. Meaning affordability for buyers may well become an issue that holds back further price rises in the coming months, while uncertainty created by the slow progress of the nation`s economic recovery could also impact buyer behaviour.

With all of these factors now coming into play to muddy the waters of potential unbridled growth in the sector in the coming months, Mr Ellis argued that annual house price growth is expected to ease considerably by the end of the year.

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