The cost of the average UK house pushed above £200,000 last month in a surprise surge for the property market, the lender Halifax has revealed.
The shock 1.7 per cent rise in prices to £200,280 – albeit less than half the cost of an average home in London – was the fourth monthly rise in a row measured by its house price index.
It means average house prices are now rising at an annual rate of 9.6 per cent, the highest since last September. A year ago the average stood at £183,130.
Halifax’s housing economist Martin Ellis said: “Supply remains very tight with the stock of homes available for sale currently at record low levels. This shortage has been a key factor maintaining house price growth.
“Economic growth, higher employment, increasing real earnings growth and very low mortgage rates are all supporting housing demand.”
Halifax pointed to a recent report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), which said the supply of homes for sale had plunged to its lowest level since records started in 1978.
Halifax’s index contrasts with a 0.2 per cent decline registered by the Nationwide in June, although monthly figures can be volatile.
Despite post-election confidence, Howard Archer, the UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said prices would be “constrained” by tighter checks on prospective mortgage borrowers by lenders and looming interest rate rises from early next year.”Reuse content