House prices rose for the seventh month running in August and are set to continue increasing “gradually” for the rest of the year, Halifax, the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, said yesterday.
The annual rise in house prices of 5.4 per cent was the highest since June 2010 and compares with just 1.1 per cent in March this year.
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: “Economic improvement and low interest rates, supported by official schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, appear to have boosted housing demand. Overall, house prices are expected to rise gradually over the remainder of the year.”
The average price of a house across the country is now £170,231.
Help to Buy began in April and its second phase, which includes state-backed mortgage guarantees, is due next January. Housebuilders have reported a strong rise in demand for new homes under the first phase.
Mr Ellis said: “Housing market activity is also on an upward trend with the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – 10 per cent higher in the three months to July compared with the previous quarter.”