UK house prices hit a new record high in May, but the property market may be starting to cool, according to new data from Halifax.
Across the country, the value of the typical property rose by £2,857 per month in May – to £289,099. An imbalance between supply and demand for housing remains the main reason for the rise, the report adds.
Northern Ireland recorded the highest annual house price inflation in May, with prices rising 15.2% to £185,386, followed by the South West of England where prices jumped 14.5 % at £305,173. In Wales, house prices have jumped 13.7% a year, pushing the average house price to a record £216,120.
Only Yorkshire and the Humber, Scotland and London recorded annual house price inflation of less than 10% in May. In Scotland, house price growth continued to “underperform” the UK average, according to Halifax, with annual inflation running at 8.3%.
Russell Galley, Halifax’s chief executive, said: “Compared to May last year, you would need around £10,000 more to buy a flat, but £50,000 more for a detached house. This clearly creates a ripple effect for those looking to move for the first time, as the rungs of the housing ladder have become ever wider.
“However, the housing market has started to show signs of cooling. Mortgage activity has started to decline and, combined with the inflationary pressures currently on household budgets, it is likely that activity will begin to slow.
“So there may be a green sprout for potential buyers – with overall buying demand down from last year, we may have passed the peak of the sellers’ market.”
Ten years ago, annual house price growth in London was the strongest in the UK, with annual house price inflation running at 4%. The south of England was at the time leading a recovery in house prices after the difficult economic times of 2008 and 2009.
Over the past 10 years the cost of a house has generally risen by 74 per cent, or £123,016, Halifax said. The highest inflation over this period was recorded in London (84.2%), followed by the East of England (84.0%) and the East Midlands (82.1%).
Nicky Stevenson, chief executive of estate agent group Fine & Country, said: “In this uncertain economic climate, there is a sense that the housing market is at a crossroads, with future gains unlikely to match the huge peaks recorded over the last 12 months.
“While existing owners remain very keen to trade, the supply crisis that has driven record growth in recent years is slowly beginning to ease. As the imbalance between supply and demand continues to narrow , annual gains are expected to decline further in the coming months.
Average house prices in May and annual increase, according to Halifax
– East Midlands, £239,859, 12.3%
– East of England, £337,216, 11.6%
– London, £541,942, 6.3%
– North East, £166,449, 10.6%
– North West, £219,849, 10.6%
– Northern Ireland, £185,386, 15.2%
– Scotland, £198,288, 8.3%
– South East, £391,845, 11.4%
– South West, £305,173, 14.5%
– Wales, £216,120, 13.7%
– West Midlands, £244,071, 10.6%
– Yorkshire and Humber, £200,469, 9.5%
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